With all the hype about recalls of Chinese toys, jewelry, and other children’s items, consumers — especially parents — in the West are understandably concerned if not downright fearful of Chinese goods. Yet the risks don’t match the hype as Brendan O’Neill of Spiked points out very well.

So what drives the extreme response? O’Neill offers some thought provoking perspectives on other forces that may be at play. He notes:

Look behind the headlines and it seems that, yes, some toys and various other products from
China fall short of tough Western safety standards, but they are far from lethal. They’re not even particularly toxic. Instead, the ‘toxic toys’ drama has become a rather poisonous metaphor for contemporary Western fears of China, of its apparently rapacious economic growth and its strange, unknowable ways.