The DEA's Regard for Safety


DEA Administrator Karen Tandy had this to say upon announcing the recent arrests of mom-and-pop steroid manufacturers in the U.S.:

Today, we reveal the truth behind the underground steroid market: dangerous drugs cooked all too often in filthy conditions with no regard to safety, giving Americans who purchase them the ultimate raw deal.

Nearly a century after the passage of the Harrison Narcotics Act, the DEA reveals that the quality of black market drugs is unreliable. Since it's the government that creates and maintains the black market by preventing people who want steroids from obtaining them legally, who is it again who gives no regard to safety?

The New York Times story about the steroid busts, which were part of a two-year, multi-agency, international investigation that fingered Chinese manufacturers for supplying the chemicals needed to make the steroids, included this strange interjection:

The drug case comes at a time when the quality of imports to the United States from China has become an issue between the two countries. Tens of thousands of toys made in China have been recalled in recent weeks on suspicion of having unacceptably high level of lead in paint and other hazards for small children. Some Chinese-made toothpaste was found to contain a chemical usually used in automotive antifreeze and not intended for human consumption.

Never mind that Mattel says many of the toys were recalled because of design flaws, not shoddy manufacturing. The Times offers no reason to believe there was anything wrong with the imported chemicals used to make the illegal steroids. Is it obligatory now to mention the toy recalls anytime a story deals with something made in China? As you'll see if you check out the labels on 10 randomly selected objects in your home or office, that rule will cover a lot of ground.