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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Brand Name or Country of Origin?

FSB Associates, a PR company I've worked with in the past recently sent me a book to review, The Coming China Wars: Where They Will Be Fought and How They Can Be Won. While the title is a bit long and it isn't really descriptive of what's inside, it's an interesting book that offers insight into "The China Price"--cheap goods--and how China has become such a manufacturing superpower if you will. I'll be posting the review on Marigold Lane in the coming weeks.

I've only made it through the first couple of chapters, but one point that struck a chord was the way most people buy products, by brand name. I've never been one that's been swayed by brand names and marketing (I don't even watch TV!), so it's not hard for me to buy by country of origin instead of brand. In fact, the other day I bought a few items from Cooking.com and specifically bought products that were NOT made in China. And this was before reading The Coming China Wars.

With the recalls and scares about poisoned pet food and toothpaste, lead in toys and clothing, tainted seafood, and fake medicines, I have become much more conscious of where products come from. I religiously search everything I buy for the "Made in...". You would be surprised that so much of our food--including frozen fruits and vegetables--comes from China. It may seem like I have a personal vendetta against Made in China, but I don't. What scares me is that a disproportionate number of products that are made there are tainted, defective, and downright dangerous.

In the age of Internet everything should be taken with a grain of salt, but after reading this book you may never want to buy anything from China again. And the things you do have, you will want to chuck in the trash. Granted, the author may have injected some of his personal and political views into the book, nonetheless it's a wake up call for the American people.

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