Angry Toxicologist

Sounds like the hed from The Onion, right? Sadly, it’s not. Go watch the NYTimes video (A consumer alerts the world). He started the whole toothpaste concerns a while back. What inside track did that guy use? He read the ingredients. Now I know that I’m thinking way into the future but go with me here: What if some shady producers try something sneaker than listing banned ingredients on the product? Crazy, I know, but maybe we should be prepared for some such eventuality.

One thing that seems like a good start is to be darn sure you know where everything is coming from and getting rid of those morality-free zones. What’s that you say? It’s called a free-trade zone? Po-tate-o, Po-taht-o.


  1. #1 Graculus
    October 2, 2007

    Permalink for video., if you want to skip the crap.

  2. #2 Mike
    October 2, 2007

    From my understanding of Free Trade Zones, I am not sure if they are specifically to blame for these problems, and could even be part of the cure. Since Free Trade Zones are created as areas that are exempt of import and export barriers, all of the material that enters and leaves the zones are strictly monitored to ensure that they are not being used for domestic production.

    Why not create Global Trade Zones that expand the existing monitoring of materials and products to include safety and environmental concerns? Then companies can continue to manufacture products in areas with low labor costs while being confident that international standards are being upheld.

  3. #3 Anna
    October 2, 2007

    I noticed the trucks in the Trade-Free zone video had really dark exhaust emmisions. Here in California, we call those Gross Polluters. Yuck! Air quality must be terrible in Panama.

  4. #4 Phil Boncer
    October 2, 2007

    The concept of free trade is not morality-free, not at all. If you cause damage to someone, you are still liable. Just as in any other system, if you are discovered to be committing fraud or theft, you should be punished, and will certainly lose the confidence and business of your customers.

    Of course these so-called “Free Trade Zones” aren’t really that either, so also please don’t confuse them with actual free trade.

    And of course it’s a good idea to know where your products are coming from, and who makes them, and how. Actual free trade doesn’t get in the way of that either.


  5. #5 Katherine Sharpe
    October 3, 2007

    Hey, Tox, if you read this, would you shoot me an email? I’ve been trying to get in touch with you, but I’m not sure that my messages are making it through. Thanks…

  6. #6 Graculus
    October 4, 2007

    all of the material that enters and leaves the zones are strictly monitored

    Obviously not.

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