A Blog devoted to progressive politics, environmental issues, LGBT issues, social justice, workers' rights, womens' rights, and, most importantly, Cats.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Health - Consumer Alert - Contamination

Mattel is recalling 9 million Chinese-made toys for lead paint. Perhaps it's a consolation that this recall involves a different manufacturer. So far, all the recalled toys were manufactured by Lee Der, whose CEO recently hanged himself.

On the other hand, it's no consolation, it's an indication that the problem of lead contamination in children's toys in China is more widespread than originally thought.
The recalls includes 7.3 million play sets, including Polly Pocket dolls and Batman action figures, and 253,000 die cast cars that contain lead paint. The action was announced on the company's Web site and at a news conference here by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Nancy A. Nord, acting CPSC chairman, said no injuries had been reported with any of the products involved in the new recall. Several injuries had been reported in an earlier Polly Pocket recall last November.

"The scope of these recalls is intentionally large to prevent any injuries from occurring," she told the news conference.
How nice to know they care. Although I suspect it's just another salvo in defense of a trade war with China aimed at forcing reevaluation of the yuan.

According to a NYT article reprinted in LittleIndia:
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rejected 1,763 food shipments from India, 1,480 from Mexico and 1,368 from China in the 12-month period ending in June this year.

Some of India’s spices, seeds and shrimp contained salmonella while Mexico’s seafood, chillies and cheese were found too filthy to eat. Chinese products like seafood, bean curd and noodles were also filthy, ‘The New York Times’ has reported. But the FDA did not reveal the quantity of the products turned back, making it impossible to determine whether it was just a box of produce or an entire shipload, the Times pointed out. While China is hammered for defective food exports to the US, government records showed that food products from India and Mexico have been rejected more often than those from China. Coming after China were the Dominican Republic, Denmark, Vietnam, Japan, Italy and Indonesia, all of them for shipping contaminated food.

A total of 543 shipments were rejected from Denmark and 482 from Italy, the only two European countries among the nine countries with the most number of rejected shipments. In the cases of Italy, Denmark and Japan, problems with labels or documentation were cited as the main offences. China sent more products to the US than any of these countries, in terms of dollar value. China shipped goods worth a total $288 billion to the US in 2006, compared with Mexico’s $198 billion, India’s $22 billion and the Dominican Republic’s $5.3 billion.
Argh. So remove those Polly Pocket dolls and model cars from your children's toys. And eat locally and seasonally. Argh again.

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