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November 08, 2007

Date-Rape Drug Found in Chinese Toys

We'll get back to our regularly scheduled Peru FTA liveblog in an hour or two according to Majority Leader Hoyer, but this Wall Street Journal find was too shocking to put off: (sorry, not linkable, although CNN is.)

More than four million Chinese-made toys sold in the U.S. as Aqua Dots are being recalled after reports surfaced that children swallowed beads containing a chemical found to mimic the effects of the so-called date-rape drug.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission said it has received two reports of children swallowing Aqua Dots and slipping into comas. Both children are now fine, the commission said. At least three children have been hospitalized in Australia, where the product is called Bindeez, after ingesting beads from the toy... Wal-Mart Stores Inc. listed the product as one of its "Top 12 Toys of Christmas."

Why don't we start targeting China for 50%+ inspection rates, you ask? A little something called the WTO, which has rules on so-called "national treatment" and other provisions that limit U.S. ability to target problem countries. The FTA with Peru, which has the world's largest food catch business after China and many health violations, further locks in these rules for Peru, and gives firms operating there the right to sue our government for our tax dollars if they don't like our food inspection regime, or other public interest policies.

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