09/13/2007, 00.00
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Beijing and Mattel: by Christmas all toys will be “safe”

China bans led based paint in export toys in agreement with Washington’s demands for improved safety standards. Mattel says it now controls all toy shipments. Attempts to reassure the market, in view of the Christmas orders which take place in this period.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – China and Mattel Incorporated assure that their toys will be “better and safer” next Christmas.  Li Changjiang, who heads the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine told a press conference yesterday that “the unification of safety standards” with the US is currently underway.

Beijing maintains that its toys are safe and that the recent problems (over 21 million pieces withdrawn from the world market, above all by Mattel) depend on different safety standards.  Yesterday in Washington the two states agreed on a ban on the use of led paint (which may cause brain damage) in all toys exported to the US.

Also yesterday Robert Eckert, chief of Mattel, in a Senate address officially apologised for the lack of sufficient controls on products his company import from China, but added that from August all shipments from Asia would be put through rigorous testing.

The case caused not only criticism of scarce quality in China, but also of US control standards, as the Democrat senator Richard Durbin pointed out. Mattel, the world’s largest toy producer was also in the eye of the storm for its safety procedures.

In 2006 Beijing exported toys amounting to 7.5 billion dollars and provided over 87% of all toy imports to the USA.  The main Christmas orders are made during this period of the year.


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See also
Cheap but dangerous and unhealthy toys
Disney Toys accused of under paying and overworking staff
Mattel’s two truths about dangerous toys
China ready to co-operate on toy safety, says Hu Jintao
Beijing attacks: the problem of security, “pretext for commercial barriers”


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