Friday, May 25, 2007

Pay Me Now, or Pay Me Later

Recent news reports about contaminated pet food and toothpaste imported from China have put a spotlight on the downside of the low prices we enjoy on many goods. It is clear now that one reason goods imported from China are so inexpensive is that they are not manufactured to the same standards of safety, environmental protection, and (in the case of foodstuffs) wholesomeness as those produced at higher cost here at home.

You can pay me now, or you can pay me later - it's an old adage, and every bit as true in this case as in any other. We can cut corners to have low prices, but the bill eventually gets paid in terms of health and safety issues. I obviously like saving money and not paying more for my goods than necessary...but if the ultimate cost of that low price is a threat to my or my family's safety, I think I'd rather pay the higher price.

Is it possible to enforce U.S. standards of foodstuff safety on processed foods imported from overseas? Probably yes. Should we do it? Absolutely.

Because you can't put a price tag on safety.

Have a good day and a safe Memorial Day weekend. More thoughts coming.


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