The story

Chinese products have become so prevalent in the United States that they're on just about every store shelf and in everyone's reach. But the sheer volume of imports means many are out of reach of government regulators.

It's a growing problem that came to a head this summer after American consumers faced scare after scare over Chinese products, from seafood they serve friends to toys they give their children to the food they give their pets.

"China is the Wild West right now because their regulatory system lacks the strong food and drug and cosmetic standards that were developed in the last 100 years," said Sally Greenberg, senior product safety counsel with the U.S. Consumers Union, the publisher of Consumer Reports magazine.

"Anything that does not meet our standards should not be allowed to be imported."

Peter Morici, a business professor at the University of Maryland and a former chief economist at the U.S. International Trade Commission, says China is benefiting from a tilted trade balance with the United States that has allowed its manufacturers to run rampant. Beijing, he says, is "letting manufacturers do whatever they want without regulation to the point that it borders on atrocities." Watch China official blame media for overhyping tainted products Read full article »

CNN's John Vause in Beijing and CNN.com's Wayne Drash in Atlanta contributed to this report.

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