The bad news is that 2008 is the Year of the Rat.During 2007, the Year of the Pig, Mattel is forced to recall almost 20 million items made in China because of lead paint on toy cars and tiny magnets that could be deadly if swallowed. Lead paint problems are also found in 844,000 Chinese-made Barbie accessories and toys with the Sesame Street brand.
Pet food makers recall more than 60 million cans of food laced with tainted melamine in wheat gluten from China. A huge underground distribution network for steroids, human growth hormones, and other bodybuilding drugs is traced to 37 companies in China. Chinese-made lunch boxes, given away by the California Department of Public Health to promote healthy eating habits among children, are found to contain lead.
Nike recalls 235,000 football helmets because the Chinese-made chin cup has a defective strap and has caused at least two concussions and a broken nose. Ethylene glycol is found in Chinese-made toothpaste. The government of China executes the former head of its State Food and Drug Administration.
Last updated January 16 2008: 5:51 PM ET