Friday, September 26, 2008

Why Babies?!

San Lu formula was found contamined in a recent public health incident

I grew up in China getting used to fake and poor quality goods. They were just everywhere. I never expected my shoes, for example, to last more than one year, and most of the time did not assume the NIKE sweater I was wearing to be genuine. I learned not to trust certain products, such as health supplements, produced in China, and I probably would not purchas baby formula of Chinese brands had I had my baby in China.

If I somehow managed to live with poor quality clothes, shoes and appliances, since it is simply the reality of the market, I was always scared of fake drugs and contaminated food. But never before, was I so ashamed of China’s notorious fakes and counterfeits. This time, it was the melamine-tainted San Lu baby formula that killed four babies and sickened over 10,000.

While watching photos of little babies lying in hospital with IV sticking to their little head, my heart hurt. I can’t help but ask: what is wrong with our people? What made them so obsessed with making a little more money that they even harmed our little babies?!

There is an old saying in Chinese: even animals as cruel as tigers won’t hurt their own child. It is also common among wild animals to situate their young members in the very center of the entire group to protect them from predators. Needless to say, babies are the most precious human being. They are the future of every nation, every group of people. So how can someone ever try to make profits at the price of baby’s health, even life?

It is said that the melamine that harmed so many babies was likely added by people at the milk collection centers, where milk from dairy farms was sold to formula factories. It is appalling to realize that those people who actually put in the chemical may well know that the very milk they were poisoning would be used to make baby formula.

Aside from tightening regulations, removing high-profile officials, and arresting a bunch of bad guys, we as a nation should really ask ourselves: what went wrong? What makes us so ruthless in making money that we even hurt ill people, and now, babies? Just how deep we have fallen down the moral cliff? Can we ever climb up back?

There are some deeper and more severe problems of Chinese society way beyond sloppy market regulations, incapable officials and corruptions. When a nation starts to see its babies harmed on a large scale by its own adults, something is seriously wrong.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is an interesting piece. I'm curious to what you think of a piece I wrote about China a little while ago.