Thursday, December 27, 2007

Canadian News: Rage over 2007 Recalls

Rage over recalls topped 2007 headlines

Thu. Dec. 27 2007 10:04, CTV News, Nicole Tomlinson

Recalls galore made headlines in 2007, as companies scrambled to get products deemed to be dangerous off the shelves and away from consumers -- especially children. Parents worried as lead and "date rape" drug precursors showed up in toys, and over-the-counter kids' medicines came under scrutiny.

More than 20 million Mattel products were affected by three major recalls of Chinese-made toys within about a month. The items, which were found to contain either excessive amounts of lead paint or small magnets that could easily be swallowed by children, included well-known toys such as Barbie accessories, Fisher-Price Geotrax toys, and Dora the Explorer. Due to the massive recalls, Mattel vowed to tighten its controls at its Chinese factories, where about 65 per cent of the company's toys are made - 95 per cent all toy recalls in 2007, prior to the report's release, involved Chinese-made toys.

A U.S.-based coalition of environmental health groups released a report in December revealing 35 per cent of 1,200 toys they tested contained lead. Also, 17 per cent of the products tests had levels of lead above the 600 parts per million U.S. federal standard that would trigger a recall of lead paint.

Health Canada launched a new centralized website database in October to allow parents to search for recalled children's products dating back to 1995.

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