April 27, 2011

Quality Matters

World Intellectual Property Review, NovemberDecember 2008.

In September 2008, China once again found itself at the center of international media attention for all the wrong reasons. Reports circulated that four infants had died and more than 50,000 others had fallen ill after consuming dairy products that had been contaminated by melamine. Although initial reports focused only on one milk producer, it soon became clear that more than twenty companies were implicated in the scandal. As thousands of anxious parents queued for hours in hospitals waiting for their children to be checked for kidney ailments, Chinese officials were spurred into action. Health inspectors began testing thousands of batches of milk for traces of the chemical substance, while police detained individuals who had been identified as complicit in the contamination. With these events in mind, this article examines an earlier scandal in the summer of 2007 which led to some important reforms designed to remove dangerous goods from the market and penalize those responsible for the damages they cause. 

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