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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
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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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