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Quality watchdogs must stay alert

Updated: 2016-07-15 07:30
(China Daily)

Quality watchdogs must stay alert
Customers come to visit Ikea's new store in Beijing, Nov 4, 2013. [Photo/icpress.cn]

After having a "meeting and talk" with the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, IKEA is recalling 1.66 million chests of drawers sold on the Chinese mainland between 1999 and this year.

The Swedish furniture retailer had already recalled this type of chest of drawers in North America because it said there was a risk they might be dangerous to children. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission found the Malm drawers could topple over and crush children if they were not anchored to walls.

IKEA's reversal of its position in China is not based on its own decision-making, but is a passive response to the strong dissatisfaction from consumers and pressure from Shanghai's quality watchdog, the Shenzhen Consumers' Association, and particularly from the country's top quality watchdog.

However, IKEA's previous refusal to recall these problematic products on the mainland should not be viewed as the company intentionally ignoring the interests of Chinese consumers. As the company previously stated, there have not been any cases of the chests of drawers causing injury in China and the quality of the products it sells in the country conforms to the national safety standards.

The company recalled the chests of drawers in North America because the product did not meet industry standards in the United States. This raises the question of whether our national quality standards are too low.

Out of cost-saving considerations, no enterprise is motivated to recall sold products if it does not face enough pressure to do so. IKEA's " recall " demonstrates that the relevant State departments should not remain indifferent or absent when it comes to protecting consumers ' legitimate rights and interests. At the same time, they should also try to improve national institutions on product quality and leave no institutional loopholes that may be exploited by producers.--Beijing Times

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