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Updated: 2008-09-25 08:04

Apply the same standards

Comment on "Foreign firms given labor contract deadline" (China Daily, Sept 24)

Why does this not apply to Chinese companies? More foreign companies may consider leaving China for countries such as Vietnam, India, or Bangladesh because of lower labor costs.

China Daily reader

on China Daily website

Public promises are not enough

The news headlines have recently been dominated by the contaminated milk powder scandal.

Now we are seeing the heads of the affected firms literally queue up on TV to offer safety commitments.

But I hardly think this apparently solemn public making of promises can offer a solution.

This is not the first time China-made milk powder has posed a threat to the health of our youngsters.

The previous case, in Fuyang, Anhui province, in 2004, saw some producers making and selling milk powder with a protein and fat content woefully below the required standards.

Wasn't this enough of a warning for milk powder manufacturers? Obviously not, otherwise this latest scandal wouldn't have reared its ugly head.

As a consumer, I don't need such public promises from the companies after serious damage has already been done, I want to see honesty, and I want to see assurances that there are no loopholes in these firms' manufacturing processes.

It's all too easy to strike a responsible-looking pose in public, what we need is for these firms to conduct their business in a more honest and accountable way.

When I call for a return of honesty in business, I know it's naive to do so. Consumers need a legal system with some teeth to protect them and warn business that it must not step out of line.

If it hadn't been for the pain inflicted on these babies and their families, when would these firms have been unmasked and would they have felt it necessary to make such public statements?

Xu Li, Beijing

via e-mail

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(China Daily 09/25/2008 page9)