Following closely on the heels of the public outcry concerning unsafe products from China, comes the news that one of the leading makers of toys, Fisher-Price (parent company is Mattel), is recalling more than 80 different toys because the paint used to make them contains too much lead.
In its first worldwide recall since 1998, Mattel announced that it would recall nearly one million toys, including the very popular Dora, Diego, Big Bird and Elmo. Interestingly, these toys were manufactured by a Chinese vendor and sold throughout the U.S. during the past five months. This recall follows closely with the June recall of 1.5 million wooden railroad toys and set parts from RC2 Corporation from its extremely popular Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway product line.
Most alarming is the warning issued by both Fisher-Price and the Consumer Product Safety Commission that any toys suspected of being subject to the recall away from children. The problem with the high lead content was discovered by the company themselves and then reported to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Interestingly, as part of the agreement reached between the manufacturer and the CPSC, the Commission agreed to withhold the information about the product dangers from the public until today, allegedly to give the retailers of these products time to remove the tainted toys from their shelves. According to Fisher-Price, nearly two-thirds of the toys did not reach the United States retailers.
“Anytime a company brings a banned hazardous product into the U.S. marketplace, especially one intended for children, it is unacceptable,” said Nancy Nord, acting chair of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, in an AP article published today.
Again, our most precious commodity, children, are placed in harm’s way because of some fundamental break-down in the manufacturer’s ability to follow safety guidelines and to insure that their vendors are doing to same.