Certified 100% China Free

It was going to happen sooner or later. With the backlash against China quality and product safety, some enterprising company was bound to capitalize on consumer fear against Chinese products. Well, now someone has. Just as many CPG providers are labeling their food, pharmacy and now even clothing products "organic" and "fair trade" -- don't get me started on that one -- one dietary supplements provider is certifying that its products are 100% China Free right on the label!

According to a story in a supplements trade magazine, Food for Health International has announced it will “start labeling its dietary supplements with a sticker that reads "safe" and "China-free" following highly publicized discoveries of contaminated food imports from China." It's good to see that the author of the story notes that the "move begs the question whether such labeling is in fact a thinly disguised means for domestic producers to muscle out of the competitive sector of Chinese ingredients, or even blatant xenophobia."

Personally, I find such marketing abhorrent. In Nazi Germany -- and throughout Nazi occupied countries in Europe in the late thirties and early forties -- if you were a retailer who wanted to keep your store, it was considered advantageous to make sure your products were not advertised as being made by Jews (unless of course, they were enslaved in government factories).

When I read this type of marketing from Food for Health, it feels to me like a new type of racism, the kind that can lead to the dehumanizing of individuals (and we all know where that path goes down). I mean, come on. Doesn't the fact that "First Health will print stickers on their product boxes that fold over one of the top edges saying "safe" on the top half of the two-inch sticker, and "China-free/synthetic-free" where it folds over," scare you?

This is one slippery slope which, as both a pundit and consumer, I believe we all need to nip in the bud. In the spirit of free trade and thwarting anti-Chinese sentiments at home, I would urge all Spend Matters readers to boycott products from Food for Health International and tell the stores selling their products that you will not do business with them until they remove their items from their shelves. The wonderful thing about living in a free country is that anyone can say or print whatever they want to. But we also have a right to not buy someone's products and drive them into bankruptcy should they cross the line -- or at least bring them some horrible PR.

Jason Busch

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