Here we go again folks, and this time it’s a whopper. Fisher-Price Inc, along with its parent company, Mattel Inc. announced on Thursday that it is recalling close to one million toys due to lead paint. Not surprisingly, the toys were made in China. They were sold in the United States between May and June.
The toys include figures of popular Sesame Street characters and Dora The Explorer. For a complete list of the toys that were recalled go here. According to this AP story, the company pulled 83 different kinds of toys from the market. Owners of a recalled toy can exchange it for a voucher for another product of the same value. For more information, call Mattel’s recall hot line at 800-916-4498.
In an interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday, David Allmark, general manager of Fisher-Price, said the problem was detected by an internal probe and reported to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The recall is particularly alarming since Mattel, known for its strict quality controls, is considered a role model in the toy industry for how it operates in China.
According to the story, under current regulations, children’s products found to have more than .06 percent lead accessible to users are subject to a recall. Allmark told AP the recall was “fast-tracked,” which allowed the company to quarantine two-thirds of the toys before they even made it to store shelves.
Allmark said the recall was troubling because Fisher-Price has had a long-standing relationship with the Chinese vendor, which had applied decorative paint to the toys.
Obviously the current system isn’t doing enough on the front end to protect consumers from dangerous products. I’m still smarting over the recalled Thomas the Tank Engine caboose with the chipped paint all over it that we sent back to the company earlier this summer.
Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., introduced a bill last month that he contended would dramatically expand the product safety commission’s ability to protect consumers. In a statement Wednesday night, Durbin also called for better safety standards for products imported from China.
“Sadly, this is the most recent in a series of disturbing recalls of children’s toys. While the toys may be different, they have one thing in common — they were manufactured in China,” he said. “With the current tools and resources the Consumer Product Safety Commission has, it cannot adequately protect American consumers.”
Maybe it’s time to start sending letters to Congress.