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BS: Lead in Toys from China

SINSULL 07 Aug 07 - 01:42 PM
Ebbie 07 Aug 07 - 01:57 PM
gnu 07 Aug 07 - 03:21 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 07 Aug 07 - 03:24 PM
SINSULL 07 Aug 07 - 03:35 PM
gnu 07 Aug 07 - 03:57 PM
Gurney 07 Aug 07 - 10:40 PM
Ebbie 07 Aug 07 - 10:45 PM
GUEST,tarnishedhalo 13 Aug 07 - 10:43 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 13 Aug 07 - 10:57 PM
Liz the Squeak 13 Aug 07 - 11:38 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 14 Aug 07 - 12:12 AM
Bee 14 Aug 07 - 07:35 AM
GUEST,HiLo 14 Aug 07 - 09:33 AM
SINSULL 14 Aug 07 - 10:05 AM
GUEST,HiLo 14 Aug 07 - 01:24 PM
Barry Finn 14 Aug 07 - 01:34 PM
autolycus 14 Aug 07 - 02:24 PM
GUEST,petr 14 Aug 07 - 02:39 PM
Mickey191 14 Aug 07 - 02:50 PM
SharonA 14 Aug 07 - 06:46 PM
The Fooles Troupe 14 Aug 07 - 08:56 PM
Herga Kitty 14 Aug 07 - 09:33 PM
GUEST,HughM 15 Aug 07 - 08:19 AM
Big Phil 15 Aug 07 - 12:15 PM
autolycus 15 Aug 07 - 12:43 PM
Scooby Doo 15 Aug 07 - 12:59 PM
jacqui.c 15 Aug 07 - 01:15 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 15 Aug 07 - 01:30 PM
Cluin 15 Aug 07 - 01:33 PM
Donuel 15 Aug 07 - 04:29 PM
GUEST,petr 15 Aug 07 - 05:02 PM
SINSULL 15 Aug 07 - 05:30 PM
Greg B 15 Aug 07 - 09:07 PM
fumblefingers 15 Aug 07 - 11:25 PM
The Fooles Troupe 15 Aug 07 - 11:27 PM
Ron Davies 15 Aug 07 - 11:45 PM
GUEST,mg 16 Aug 07 - 12:16 AM
autolycus 16 Aug 07 - 02:00 AM
Liz the Squeak 16 Aug 07 - 07:49 AM
The Fooles Troupe 16 Aug 07 - 08:14 AM
SINSULL 16 Aug 07 - 09:04 AM
SINSULL 16 Aug 07 - 09:14 AM
Donuel 16 Aug 07 - 09:19 AM
SINSULL 16 Aug 07 - 10:45 AM
Ron Davies 16 Aug 07 - 12:32 PM
Ron Davies 16 Aug 07 - 01:31 PM
SINSULL 16 Aug 07 - 01:43 PM
Ron Davies 16 Aug 07 - 02:40 PM
SINSULL 16 Aug 07 - 04:39 PM
GUEST,petr 16 Aug 07 - 05:07 PM
Ron Davies 17 Aug 07 - 10:15 AM
SINSULL 17 Aug 07 - 01:17 PM
SINSULL 17 Aug 07 - 01:18 PM
Ron Davies 17 Aug 07 - 01:28 PM
SINSULL 17 Aug 07 - 04:09 PM
GUEST,dianavan 18 Aug 07 - 12:19 AM
Ron Davies 18 Aug 07 - 07:52 AM
Gurney 18 Aug 07 - 05:05 PM
SINSULL 18 Aug 07 - 09:06 PM
Greg F. 19 Aug 07 - 11:06 AM
Alice 19 Aug 07 - 11:30 AM
SINSULL 19 Aug 07 - 11:51 AM
Ron Davies 19 Aug 07 - 10:59 PM
Ron Davies 19 Aug 07 - 11:10 PM
Ron Davies 19 Aug 07 - 11:14 PM
Gurney 21 Aug 07 - 04:19 PM
Bill D 21 Aug 07 - 07:43 PM
Ron Davies 21 Aug 07 - 10:22 PM
Gurney 21 Aug 07 - 11:00 PM
Gurney 21 Aug 07 - 11:32 PM
Ron Davies 21 Aug 07 - 11:52 PM
Gurney 22 Aug 07 - 10:04 PM
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Subject: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: SINSULL
Date: 07 Aug 07 - 01:42 PM

Heads up from Moms Rising.
http://www.democracyinaction.org/dia/organizationsORG/momsrising/signUp.jsp?key=2362&t=petition.dwt

Story as covered by the New York Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/06/business/06toys.html?_r=2&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

Mattel, Reebock, vending machine toys.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: Ebbie
Date: 07 Aug 07 - 01:57 PM

Last night Jay Leno reported that in a pile of lead in China, they found some toys...

You know, if somebody in the USA wasn't making HUGE profits from the imports - hang the occasional contaminant - we wouldn't be buying these things. To me, it seems totally cynical. A country that is so completely unready to join national markets with proper inspections and quality control - hey, people over there are dying from their own products - should not even be considered for import.

Money is powerful.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: gnu
Date: 07 Aug 07 - 03:21 PM

You got that right, Ebbie! And, it's been going on for years and years. I don't buy anything from afar that I can't get "local" (Canada and USA) unless the cost is prohibitive. And, I don't buy any kind of grub from "afar".


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 07 Aug 07 - 03:24 PM

Who out there still has a collection of toy lead soldiers? Good old ones are getting very expensive.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: SINSULL
Date: 07 Aug 07 - 03:35 PM

I received a gift from Jacqui and family in a shiny shopping bag imprinted with the UK flag. It proudly proclaims Buy Bitish Goods. Guess where the bag was manufactured?
No, not China. The USA.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: gnu
Date: 07 Aug 07 - 03:57 PM

So... it was "local".


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: Gurney
Date: 07 Aug 07 - 10:40 PM

Must have been old stock, Sinsull.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: Ebbie
Date: 07 Aug 07 - 10:45 PM

You know, contrary to what some people believe, the US does still manufacture some things. In Oregon for instance, a lot of the big factories have closed but there are many small factories. My sister in law has worked for years in a shop that makes the stoplight harnesses that are used all over the US. Oddly enough, most of the owners (there have been a series of them) have been foreign born.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: GUEST,tarnishedhalo
Date: 13 Aug 07 - 10:43 PM

The solution is really very easy. If it's foreign made and you can possibly do without it simply don't buy it. The strongest message anyone can ever send is the one that hits hard in the pocket.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Aug 07 - 10:57 PM

A report aired here stated that 80% of toys sold in the USA and Canada are from China.
China has a ways to go before all their goods are up to safe standards, but the fact remains that very few goods, proportionally, fail to meet USA standards. CNN and other news media in the States blow up the situation out of all proportion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 13 Aug 07 - 11:38 PM

Ah, but what are 'safe standards'? Every country has a different set of standards. What is considered safe in the UK is not acceptable in other countries - the case of the red food dye used in Smarties (chocolate beans coated with coloured sugar glaze) was one, perfectly safe and edible in the UK, not allowed in the US.

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 14 Aug 07 - 12:12 AM

Smarties changed the red dye in their candy because of an alert about the dye that they were using possibly being related to hyperactivity in kids. Several other products did the same.
This was voluntary-
The dye has not been banned from foods in the U. S.
Further tests have shown no reliable link between the dye and AT hyperactivity.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: Bee
Date: 14 Aug 07 - 07:35 AM

Heard on the news the owner of the factory in China that produced many of the toys has been found hanged (suicide) in his factory.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 14 Aug 07 - 09:33 AM

I try to but locally produced things, but it is very hard to do as we don't manufacture much anymore. Our local supermarket is selling Strawberries from California in the US while it is the height of strawberry season here at home. The same happens in late August with local farm produce, especially tomatoes. This really ticks me off and I do complain at the shop..but to no avail..we all need to badgers supermarkets into selling local stuff. As for things made in China, I avoid them by staying out of Walmart and other big box stores.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: SINSULL
Date: 14 Aug 07 - 10:05 AM

Can't get Maine blueberries in Maine supermarkets. Go figure.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 14 Aug 07 - 01:24 PM

The reason given by Sobey's(Canada) for not selling local produce is that American suppliers insist on year round contracts,thereby excluding local farmers. I go to the local farm market but I think we ought to let the big stores know that local communities want to buy local produce.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: Barry Finn
Date: 14 Aug 07 - 01:34 PM

Mary, you can pick 'em in my back yard. Of course I'm in NH. Grow your own is one way to beat them.

Barry


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: autolycus
Date: 14 Aug 07 - 02:24 PM

The toys also have magnets that are easy to swallow. The spokeslady said they could cause "bluckages", whatever a "bluckage "   is.





       Ivor


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: GUEST,petr
Date: 14 Aug 07 - 02:39 PM

recently - I read a story about a factory in China - where workers who
manufacture various stone carved trinkets have been slowly dying of silicosis because of the dust. For years, no masks were provided, and only lately they started providing the cheap paper filter masks - which are not very effective.. WOrkers get charged for the masks too.

One worker who was dying of silicosis actually sued and won against the company - however the factory moved somewhere else and changed the name slightly and nothing much happened.

Its funny how much the US makes such a big issue of China regarding intellectual property, but when it comes to safety of workers and safe products - as well as environmental rules, all the elites in the IMF and World Bank insist that developing countries be given a chance to develop under less stringent rules..

I wonder if the issue is as big in Europe, I know someone who moved to Canada recently from Germany and said you didnt really see too many
products Made in China and if you did they were priced about the same as German made.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: Mickey191
Date: 14 Aug 07 - 02:50 PM

I'm wondering why the lead painted toys are not inspected by our government watchdogs from the getgo? Why is (was) tainted food & toothpaste not caught by the FDA pronto? Then banned until China cleaned up their act. Or is the resultant situation just another product of our gov't. cutting corners on really important issues?

Bought a box of bandaids the other day--made in Egypt. That's a new one on me. The product was fine-darn hard to get into the bandaid itself.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: SharonA
Date: 14 Aug 07 - 06:46 PM

Autolycus wonders what a "blockage" is: they're talking about intestinal blockages, where the intestine is obstructed and the digesting food is prevented (blocked) from moving along through the plumbing normally. The term can apply to a partial or complete cork-up. The parts of the digestive system that lead up to the blockage continue to operate normally until the intestine fills with food, fluid, gas and secretions. The intestine enlarges, the lining swells and becomes inflamed. Untreated, it can rupture and all the stuff inside leaks into the abdominal cavity, where it causes peritonitis and infection. If the obstruction crimps up the intestinal wall and cuts off blood flow, gangrene can set in. Eventually a person can die from the results of a blockage. (Info came from this site)

How can all this happen from a teensy little Polly Pocket magnet, you may ask? Apparently the problem occurs when a child has swallowed more than one magnet, and they attract one another and clump up. According to this article from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, three children were reported to have had required surgery because of having swallowed multiple magnets which caused perforations in their intestines.

I wonder if it's possible for the magnets to pull toward one another through a pinch in the intestinal wall, as larger magnets would do through a folded piece of paper?


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 14 Aug 07 - 08:56 PM

"if it's possible for the magnets to pull toward one another through a pinch in the intestinal wall"

Many of these modern tiny magnets are constructed of materials that allow such a high degree of 'pull'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 14 Aug 07 - 09:33 PM

There was an item on the radio this morning (BBC Radio 4) about a children's entertainer who's got into trouble for making animals out of balloons - some child was allergic to the balloon....

kitty


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: GUEST,HughM
Date: 15 Aug 07 - 08:19 AM

I try not to buy toys from the country which continues to occupy Tibet and whose soldiers shoot children trying to escape into Nepal or rounds them up and takes them to a labour camp.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: Big Phil
Date: 15 Aug 07 - 12:15 PM

We had lead water pipes till 20 years ago, it was normal. Why the problem with lead now. Seems to me we are overegging the safety situation somewhat.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: autolycus
Date: 15 Aug 07 - 12:43 PM

SharonA, actually I was asking, tongue-in-cheek, what a "bluckage" was, not a "blockage".




    Ivor


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: Scooby Doo
Date: 15 Aug 07 - 12:59 PM

On the News today here in the UK we have over two million toys with lead paint and raising.That is a lot for a small island like ours.



Scooby


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: jacqui.c
Date: 15 Aug 07 - 01:15 PM

Well, Mattell think that the problem is serious enough to order a sizeable recall of affected toys. It seems that the manufacturers were given the correct paint but used lead based instead.

One can only hope that Mattell may be looking at the financial downside of manufacturing in China, with the possible cost of this recall. They obviously farmed it out to save money but this will, hopefully, eat into their profits and maybe a few lawsuits from parents of children who can be shown to be affected by the lead might heap more coals on their heads. Last night's news suggested that parents who were concerned should have their children checked out by their peadiatrician. Can't you just see the rush to the doctor that going to happen now?

In the end, you get what you pay for. If we want cheap goods then they are unlikely to be made in the USA or the UK.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 15 Aug 07 - 01:30 PM

Ebbie, tarnishedhalo and Co, you're stuck with imports from China whether you like it or not. It's those imports that have kept inflation down in the west, and especially the US, for the past ten years or more. Western governments can do nothing that might significantly jeopardise trade with China without also jeopardising their own economies. In short there is no easy way to put Chinese manufacturers under pressure to clean up their acts (nor to ensure decent working conditions for employees). But it might help if importers were a little less obsessive about driving down prices, and hence quality.

Incidently China exports billions of dollars of goods each month, and most of it is fine - sometimes better than equivalent stuff made in the west.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: Cluin
Date: 15 Aug 07 - 01:33 PM

Santa's elves will really have to kick up production now to make up the shortfall.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: Donuel
Date: 15 Aug 07 - 04:29 PM

Lead Elmo and lead big bird bother me but the Sarge from the movie Cars ought to be full of lead.

btw I have 2 Sarges.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: GUEST,petr
Date: 15 Aug 07 - 05:02 PM

stuck with imports from CHina like it or not...

actually not true.
Much of the EU refused cheap Chinese textiles in, or put on heavy tariffs.. And as I mentioned above, a German lady who emigrated to Canada said that they didnt see too many Chinese products in Europe, and if they did, they werent much cheaper than local.

Even in the US there have been tariffs - recently on asian paper
(I work in the printing industry in Canada so Im not affected, but it made a difference in the states) But there used to be 9 main paper mills in Canada, now theres only one.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: SINSULL
Date: 15 Aug 07 - 05:30 PM

Many of these toys are under the Fisher-Price brand name. Fisher-Price manufactured its toys in East Aurora, NY until Mattel bought them out and shipped the mannufacturing overseas. I have family in East Aurora. Fisher-Price was a key employer in the town and the results were devastating for local workers.

From their website:
• Worldwide gross sales of Fisher-Price Brands was $1.9 billion in 2004.

• Fisher-Price is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mattel, Inc., the worldwide leader in toy products, with $3.2 billion for Mattel Brands, $5.1 billion for Mattel, Inc., including Fisher-Price Brands, in 2004. Mattel's best-selling brands are Barbie®, Hot Wheels®, Fisher-Price® and American Girl®. Visit www.mattel.com.


Is a $30 million recall even followed by a $50 million recall really going to hurt a lot?
The Chinese with whom Mattel had the contract sub=contracted the work to an unauthorized plant. BUT Mattel still had the responsibility to test the products for safety. They didn't but now (after killing at least one child) they are doing tests on every batch.

Maybe a Christmas boycott of Mattel toys will change their attitude and that of other companies (toy, food, toothpaste, food ingredients) using Chinese manufacturers as they watch the fallout.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: Greg B
Date: 15 Aug 07 - 09:07 PM

The risk of doing business with China is that lying is perfectly
acceptable business practice in that area of the world.

"Do you use paints with lead in them?"

"Oh no, certainly not!"

Then the merchandise arrives, covered in lead-based paint.

There is absolutely NO stigma against the manufacturer for
having lied to your face--- rather YOU are the fool for not
having verified it for yourself before sending the money.

This is something Westerners don't "get." To their (and our)
peril, obviously.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: fumblefingers
Date: 15 Aug 07 - 11:25 PM

I wonder how us old guys survived, growing up with lead paint and chewing on lead fishing weights? It's amazing that human life has survived this long without the knowledge of all the things that are dangerous.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 15 Aug 07 - 11:27 PM

Yer right fumblefingers - it never affec... affec... affec... affected me...


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: Ron Davies
Date: 15 Aug 07 - 11:45 PM

Fionn has it right. Origin of the problem is obviously the Western insistence on driving down prices--to pick a purely theoretical example, try Walmart. Lead is cheaper and has other advantages from a manufacturer's standpoint--like speed and volume. Unless Western retailers are willing to pay considerably more--and thereby cut into their profits-- the temptation will always be there.    And obviously, we'll never have every toy tested.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 16 Aug 07 - 12:16 AM

Of course we are going to have these contaminants etc...and I do not blame the Chinese half as much as I blame a company that should know better, like Mattell. This is not a dollar store selling cheap junk..this is a huge company and customers have every right to expect that especially in a developing country, where other languages and customs prevail, that there has to be very tight testing, there in the factory, and when it arrives on our shores before it is put on a shelf anywhere. They should be held heavily liable for damages, medical bills etc. and not allowed to play dumb...gave them the paint...well, test it. Don't believe anything, test it. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: autolycus
Date: 16 Aug 07 - 02:00 AM

Ron,

Suely yo know that profits are sacred, are the point of the whole process.

Cut into them? OMG,the end of the world.





       Ivor


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 16 Aug 07 - 07:49 AM

Fumble - I see what you're getting at, but I just have two words for you.

George.

Bush.

I rest my case.

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 16 Aug 07 - 08:14 AM

It now appears that the Chinese Govt has shut down the plant, thereby throwing out of work many workers who depend on their 50c an hour for a 6 day 12 hour weeks work to produce a Barbie Doll for 35c that retails in the USA for over $25...

Apparently the previous lot of workers who also lost their jobs after the first scare are wondering what they will do too, now that their boss hanged himself...


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: SINSULL
Date: 16 Aug 07 - 09:04 AM

China is offended at the news coverage - "only one part in 10,000" was a problem.
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601080&sid=azR.676eaf7Q&refer=asia


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: SINSULL
Date: 16 Aug 07 - 09:14 AM

Another recall due to lead paint (China):http://recalls.rc2.com/recalls_Wood_0607.html


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: Donuel
Date: 16 Aug 07 - 09:19 AM

The lead in toys is mimiscule compared to the lead in Washignton DC tap water THE HIGHEST IN THE NATION.

There is a reason for this that involves 70 year old pipes... but it is getting better.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: SINSULL
Date: 16 Aug 07 - 10:45 AM

For those of you minimalizing the effect of lead on children, go visit a ward or clinic in NYC. Old buildings (now rented by poor families) used lead paint for years. It peels and children eat it - it apparently tastes good to them. The resulting brain damage is permanent and the process to remove the lead from the human body is painful. It is a cumulative effect so in the case of these toys, it could for poor children be the starw that broke the camel's back.

I don't accept the excuse that workers are paid $.50/hour. The factory owner signed a contract and agreed to produce toys within certain specs. $30 million in toys means he too was making money. This was not the doing of dissatisfied workers. In fact, they are in more danger of lead poisoning than any of the children playing with the toys.

The equivalent rationalization would be that minimum wage workers at a fast food restaurant deserve more money so it is OK for them to spit on the hamburgers.

The recent recalls of products made in China - products which have killed pets and humans - has earned them a boycott. Mattel et al can either provide oversight on site or suffer the consequences.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: Ron Davies
Date: 16 Aug 07 - 12:32 PM

I don't think anybody is minimizing the danger of lead to children. By the way, unless there have been further developments since yesterday, the child who died was killed by another problem entirely--not lead--but the use of small magnets in toys these days. It happened to Kenny Sweet a toddler "who died in 2005 after swallowing several magnetic bearings in a building set produced for the Magnetix brandof MEGA Brands of Montreal" (WSJ 15 Aug 2007).

"In 2006, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission recalled about 3.8 million building sets that had been sold for nearly three years at locations that included big-name retailers like WalMart, Target and ToysRUs."--WSJ 15 Aug.

In China itself, the problem of lead is extremely severe--in a survey in 2004, 34% of young children were found to have unsafe amounts of lead (again, WSJ). Supposedly the situation has improved lately.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: Ron Davies
Date: 16 Aug 07 - 01:31 PM

By the way, anybody who plans to boycott Mattel should also boycott the other toy companies in the US--(Hasbro for instance)--with very few exceptions. If you don't think most companies get their toys from China, think again. Even small companies are involved--the lead problem with Thomas the Tank Engine toys was with a firm called RC2.

Basically, if you are very concerned about the problem you should only buy toys made in Germany or somewhere similar where they are environmentally aware--and don't pay starvation wages.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: SINSULL
Date: 16 Aug 07 - 01:43 PM

That was my point, Ron. Boycott goods from China and force both the Chinese government and companies who use Chinese manufacturers to meet specifications. And I am talking about ALL goods not just toys. Of course, when ingredients are sourced from China there is no declaration on the label.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: Ron Davies
Date: 16 Aug 07 - 02:40 PM

Boycott all goods from China--hmmm--have you checked items in your house to see how many come from China? It's truly staggering.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: SINSULL
Date: 16 Aug 07 - 04:39 PM

40% of all imported US consumer goods come from China. Apple Juice is a huge part of that. A nationwide boycott of just apple juice and toys from China would get everyone's attention.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: GUEST,petr
Date: 16 Aug 07 - 05:07 PM

well Id say the - jobs for low wage workers argument doesnt hold
a better equivalent would be to say -if Jack in the box or some other fast food chain were caught using beef tainted with e-coli and tried to cover it up - then it would be like saying we cant punish Jackinthe box because so many of their low wage service workers will be out of a job.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: Ron Davies
Date: 17 Aug 07 - 10:15 AM

We now get our apple juice from China? Source?


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: SINSULL
Date: 17 Aug 07 - 01:17 PM

We have been importing apple juice from China for years and currently get 40%+ of our apple juice and concentrated apple juice from China. At one point in the early 90s China was selling apple juice concentrate at a price 91% below the US manufacturers' COST. Tariffs were imposed to curtail "dumping" into our markets.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-05-21-food-imports-china_N.htm

http://www.fas.usda.gov/htp/Hort_Circular/2006/05-06/Apple%20Juice%20Feature%20May%202006.pdf

http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/07/26/madeinchina.overview/index.html


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: SINSULL
Date: 17 Aug 07 - 01:18 PM

petr - you are right. I was off on a tangent and realized my non-sequitur after the fact.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: Ron Davies
Date: 17 Aug 07 - 01:28 PM

Sinsull--

Fascinating. It sure seems the USA Today article is reliable. So the question then becomes:   is this a one--way street? Can we in fact ever cut down our reliance on Chinese products without a huge increase in our cost of living? Are we willing to accept that increase?


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: SINSULL
Date: 17 Aug 07 - 04:09 PM

Or do without. I could live without apple juice or Barbie Dolls. Scary - but many of our prescription drugs include ingredients from China. How do you know the source for products marked "Distributed by..."


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: GUEST,dianavan
Date: 18 Aug 07 - 12:19 AM

GregB - You are absolutely right!

In China, if it is for the good of your family, there is absolutely nothing wrong with lying. U.S. companies must be diligent about Chinese goods because, of course, any increased profit from the use of inferior quality materials, would financially benefit the family. Of course, in the long term, it may do the family more harm than good thus the apparent suicide of the producer.

As usual, the need for instant gratification in the West leads to short term profits in the East and everybody loses to greed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: Ron Davies
Date: 18 Aug 07 - 07:52 AM

Dianavan--

"In China, if it is for the good of your family, there is absolutely nothing wrong with lying".

Source, please.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: Gurney
Date: 18 Aug 07 - 05:05 PM

Half asleep this morning, on the news I cought a report about serious quantities of a poison found in childrens clothing, imported from China.
By the time I woke up, it was past.
Virtually everyone on the site gets their news after us, so watch out for it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: SINSULL
Date: 18 Aug 07 - 09:06 PM

Dianavan - I too would like to know the source. Nothing I have read indicates that the Chinese as a race feel it is OK to harm someone for the family's benefit.

Individuals in all countries including our own commit crimes. And Confucius does say that a father should lie to protect a son who has stolen. Even that is a bit different. Given the breakdown of the family unit in China over the past 10 years I have serious doubts about your statement.

These recalls seem to be the result of several factors.
The huge growth in Chinese exports has created an atmosphere where getting the goods made is more important than getting them made right.
The government itself is rife with corruption - the head of China's food and drug Administration was hanged after being found guilty of accepting bribes in return for approval of faulty goods including medications.
There are simply not enough inspectors - 80% of Chinese food products pass inspection. That means that 20% don.t. Add to that the ones passed for a bribe.
US importers have a responsibility to their customers to provide on site inspectors with the power to ensure qwuality control. They have the responsibility to test every batch if necessary sand to cancel contracts with manufacturers found in violation.
The US government has the responsibilty to monitor imports and protect its citizens. But the fact is that tighter restrictions and closer monitoring is going to turn up lots more problems. These toy recalls are only the tip of the ice berg.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: Greg F.
Date: 19 Aug 07 - 11:06 AM

Nothing I have read indicates that the Chinese as a race feel it is OK to harm someone for the family's benefit

Absolutely- its a U.S. of A. cultural imperative that its OK to harm anyone and any thing for your own personal benefit, e.g. the 'me' generation, EnRon, sub-prime lending & the same two words above:

George

Bush.

( NB: the Chinese are not a "race".)


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: Alice
Date: 19 Aug 07 - 11:30 AM

NPR news had a recent report on the subject of doing business with Chinese manufacturers.
They pointed out that the business negotiations done in China are like a game of how much
the Chinese company can fool you or get away with. It is normal to have 2/3 of your product
shipped to you and 1/3 of the production going out the back door, pirated, sold on the world
market.
My career used to be designing for the souvenir market. Most manufacturers eventually
moved their production from the US to China. I don't work in that industry any more. One
US company owner blatantly told me he would just take an artists designs and send them to Hong
Kong, putting them on any product he wanted without paying the artist anything.
Here is a web site on negotiations with China.

http://chinesenegotiation.com/2007/06/18/negotiating-in-china-successfully-fool-me-once-shame-on-me/


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: SINSULL
Date: 19 Aug 07 - 11:51 AM

I agree, Greg. It amuses me when I see disgust at someone tainting toys while we rain bombs down on innocent civilians and claim it is noble and patriotic.

My experience with Chinese businessmen has been similar to Alice's. There is a cultural difference which allows for what we call "cheating". But that is still very different from physically harming people for the good of one's family. Greed is the more likely culprit as it is in the US.

Other cultures accept business practices which we don't. I have had middle eastern businessmen simply not show up for an appointment - it was not important in their eyes. They also would prefer to tell me what I wanted to hear and then do as they pleased. It appeared it would have been rude to tell me the truth and make me unhappy. I don't understand the thought process behind it. Indian businessmen insisted on having a personal relationship in order to do business. I met the wife and the children and was frequently invited to birthday parties and family gatherings. Hasidic Jews had a very difficult time dealing with a woman and I conducted business through their female family members. This was as much a religious issue as a business.

Recognizing and understanding the cultural environment in which you are conducting business is critical to getting things done properly and at a profit. Turning a blind eye to issues you know (or should know) will be a problem is foolish. In Mattel's et al's case, they preferred to ignore the likely abuses and make more money while endangering their customers. They are as guilty as the merchants who cheated.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: Ron Davies
Date: 19 Aug 07 - 10:59 PM

It seems like an an unnatural act to defend a huge corporation. But I don't think it's proven that Mattel--or the others-- intended to endanger their customers. We're letting our rhetoric get ahead of the facts. Mattel subcontracted to a Chinese company, which in turn subcontracted to another, unauthorized, firm. Mattel perhaps is guilty of not closely overseeing to which company the work was subcontracted. More than that is not proven.

It all comes back to the relentless pressure for speed and cheap prices.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: Ron Davies
Date: 19 Aug 07 - 11:10 PM

I also know a child who played enthusiastically with some of the Thomas the Tank Engine toys in question. The worried parents had him tested for lead. Reading: far below the danger level.

There was obviously a huge danger with children eating lead paint years ago. And Chinese children appear considerably at risk of lead problems these days. But though exposure to lead through toys needs to be dealt with, it is not clear US children are at great risk--particularly if inspection procedures are tightened considerably and subcontracting issues are dealt with-- though, as I've said, Chinese children appear to be at great risk.

Do you have further information?


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: Ron Davies
Date: 19 Aug 07 - 11:14 PM

The main question therefore appears to me to be: what can we do to lessen the danger to the children most affected: the Chinese children?


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: Gurney
Date: 21 Aug 07 - 04:19 PM

The clothing problem that I posted on a few posts ago: There was a TV programme about it last evening. Target, TVNZ.
The poison was mostly formaldehyde. It was mostly in natural materials, particularly cotton and cotton mixes, where it is used to make the garment non-iron or minimum-iron, and the maximum found, from a VERY small sampling, was 1900ppm, which is about 700 times the recommended maximum IN CHINA.
There was also an instance of a childs night-attire that caught afire, seriously injuring the poor mite. It is a requirement here that such garments are fire-resistant.

Our government is currently trying to climb into bed with the Chinese for a free-trade agreement, and is saying nothing.

Wash new cotton garments before wearing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: Bill D
Date: 21 Aug 07 - 07:43 PM

China flatly does not have the safeguards or standards built into their system to the extent we do....and when standards ARE there, they are laxly enforced due to the many plants and few inspectors and cultural attutudes of the plant managers.

We are simply rolling the dice by allow this much of our manufacturing to be outsourced with so little oversight!


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: Ron Davies
Date: 21 Aug 07 - 10:22 PM

But Bill, more than Chinese cultural attitudes, the main cause by far is the constant pressure by the West--call it the Walmart syndrome--for ever cheaper prices. It's the logical outcome of the race to the bottom--and it's got to change.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: Gurney
Date: 21 Aug 07 - 11:00 PM

Ron, whilst you have a valid point that pressure was applied to manufacturers there, if they can't supply appropriately, then they should bloody well say so, not endanger me and mine by using inferior systems and materials.
After all, the wholesaler or brand holder no doubt tried to pressure local firms before they went offshore to maximize their profit.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: Gurney
Date: 21 Aug 07 - 11:32 PM

A fuller set of stories are on the Beeb. Click through on the 'Don't buy your wife a camel' thread.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: Ron Davies
Date: 21 Aug 07 - 11:52 PM

China wants the business. They've gotten it. And everybody-- definitely including the Chinese--is paying a price for that attitude.

It sounds similar to the headlong, heedless, development, of the US after the Civil War--for which a lot of people also paid a price. (Or probably any rapidly industrializing country.)

But in China's case it's the unremitting--Western--"Walmart syndrome" which is the driving force. This exacerbates the problem of a rapidly industrializing economy.

One of the ironies of the whole situation is that up to now Mattel had been seen as a model of efficiency and safety at the same time. And the CEO of Mattel says that in the recent case of the lead paint, the subcontractor had in fact been sent the right--safe--paint--but chose not to use it.

Why?--probably the same answer--pressure for speed, volume--and low price.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lead in Toys from China
From: Gurney
Date: 22 Aug 07 - 10:04 PM

Ron, I have spoken to two people who have business partners who come from mainland China, and both stated that the guys were real go-getters. Unfortunately, both also had the tendency to 'take the money and run', which is not to be recommended if you want return sales. Both the Kiwi halves of the partnerships said they have to spend time and patience to counteract this attitude.

I would doubt that the attitude is widely prevalent in China, but since about a quarter of the worlds population live there, even a tiny percentage would make it a lot of people.

The link that I pointed out in my last post shows that the Chinese government is also concerned enough to be really trying to do something about it, including execution of offenders.


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