- Title: VARIOUS: Leading toymaker Mattel announces third recall of Chinese-made toys
- Date: 6th September 2007
- Summary: (EU) BRUSSELS, BELGIUM (SEPTEMBER 5, 2007) (REUTERS) JIM MURRAY, DIRECTOR OF EUROPEAN CONSUMERS ASSOCIATION, TALKING TO REPORTER (SOUNDBITE) (English) JIM MURRAY, DIRECTOR OF EUROPEAN CONSUMERS ASSOCIATION, SAYING: "There clearly is a problem with, with manufacturing standards in many parts of China but the responsibility is with the the client, the company in Europe or in the States or somewhere else who have ordered the products. We can't pass laws here about what manufacturers in China should do, it's it's it's not possible."
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- Topics: Industry
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- Story Text: Toymaker Mattel Inc on Tuesday (September 4,) announced a third recall of Chinese-made toys, saying it would take back more than 800,000 units globally that contain "impermissible" levels of lead.
The latest recall involves three Fisher-Price toy models and eight Barbie brand playsets. No Barbie dolls were included.
In total, 522,000 U.S. toys and 322,000 outside the United States are being recalled. The toys were shipped between August 3, 3006 and July 31, 2007 the company said.
The recall arose out of Mattel's investigation of its toys manufactured by vendors in China. In the last five weeks, the company already had announced two recalls of millions of Chinese toys due to excessive amounts of lead paint and other dangers.
Lead paint has been linked to health problems in children, including brain damage.
Mattel Chief Executive Robert Eckert said Mattel is now using only certified paint on toys, monitoring its own plants and those of subcontractors, and that every product is tested before it reaches stores.
The company has faced questions recently over whether it acted quickly enough in announcing last month's recalls of more than 19 million toys due to lead paint and hazards from small magnets that can be swallowed and cause injury.
On the company's Web site Eckert announced the recall. "We discovered additional products that had very specific parts that could be affected by lead paint and we're now voluntarily recalling those products," he stated.
Mattel instructs people to go to its Web site (www.service.mattel.com) to establish whether they own an affected toy. After they fill out a form and send back the affected parts, Mattel will send them replacement and bonus parts.
A spate of toy recalls has sparked concern over the quality of products made in China.
The U.S. House of Representatives' subcommittee on commerce, trade and consumer protection is to hold a Sept. 19 hearing on how to protect U.S.
children from imported products containing lead paint.
The European Union said on Wednesday (September 5) it has been working with the Chinese authorities for a couple of years to improve standards and procedures.
Helen Kearns, a European Commission spokeswoman said: "The Mattel recalls over the summer are not a wake-up call to us with regard to the problems that we face with controls, in regard to toy safety and consumer product safety generally with China. We were already awake. There has already been a huge amount of work done with China to cooperate with them to improve our controls and enforcement."
In the last five weeks, the company has announced two recalls of millions of Chinese toys due to excessive amounts of lead paint and other dangers. The recalls have sparked concern over the quality of products made in China.
Jim Murray, director of the Brussels-based European Consumers Association, said "There clearly is a problem with, with manufacturing standards in many parts of China but the responsibility is with the the client, the company in Europe or in the States or somewhere else who have ordered the products. We can't pass laws here about what manufacturers in China should do, it's it's it's not possible," he said.
Murray said the European Union should do more to protect its consumers if it doesn't want to face a loss of confidence in the markets.
This latest affair will lead to further discussions between the European Union and China and may cast a cloud at a forthcoming EU-China summit in November.
Mattel shares were down 3.5 percent to 21.20 U.S. dollars on the NYSE after the toy maker announced the third recall of Chinese-made toys.
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- Embargoed:21st September 2007 13:00