11/08/2007, 00.00
CHINA
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The 2007 Made in China Toy of the Year contains deadly drug

Bindeez has been pulled from the shelves by the firm that designed the toy, Australia-based Moose Enterprise, which blames manufacturers in mainland China and Hong Kong. If swallowed, bead coating can turn into GHB, a chemical substance that is the active element in many synthetic drugs.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Bindeez, a toy made in China that won the 2007 Toy of the Year Award, contains a potentially deadly drug. The Australian company that designed the toy, Moose Enterprise, blames the manufacturers in Hong Kong and mainland China.

The toy is made up of hundreds of brightly-coloured beads that can be arranged to make figures like animals or food and sprayed with water to set. But if swallowed the chemical reaction could turn a chemical ingredient into gamma-hydroxybutyric acid or GHB, an active ingredient in many synthetic drugs. It can induce drowsiness, seizures, loss of consciousness or coma.

Australia banned the toy yesterday after at least three children aged from 19 months to 10 years were admitted to hospital in New South Wales and Queensland after swallowing the beads. Two were unconscious when admitted.

In a statement, Melbourne-based Moose said it had voluntarily issued a recall for all Bindeez products because they might contain 1.4-butanediol, and that further investigations were being carried out to determine who was responsible.

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