Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Toy Recalls 2007

The NY Times reported that of the 24 toys recalled for safety reasons to date in 2007 in the US, all of them were made in China. The number seems possible since 70-80% of toys sold in the US are actually made in China. In fact, given the soaring number of recalls over the past few years, the article states that "China today is responsible for about 60 percent of the overall product recalls, compared with 36 percent in 2000."

Given the overload in federal systems that oversee quality for this kind of stuff, it seems like consumer groups have been working overtime to pick up the slack.
"The toy industry in the United States is largely self-regulated, as the Consumer Product Safety Commission has only about 100 field investigators and compliance staff nationwide to conduct inspections at ports, warehouses and stores - not only of toys, but all consumer products."


After some thought, while it seems highly unlikely we'll be able to completely avoid toys made in China, I'll be watching out for their construction. Right now, my son puts everything in his mouth and gnaws...so painted toys are the best to avoid. Going forward, we might consider a something else is best avoided. Hopefully, manufacturing regulations will tighten as Chinese authorities consider the loss of business they face. Consumer dollars, or lack thereof, are the loudest way to express distrust and anger with toy makers.