Toy garden tools, trains latest 'made in China' recalls 1 hour, 32 minutes ago
WASHINGTON (AFP) - US retailing giant Target Corp. announced a voluntary recall of Chinese-made toy gardening tools and children's lawn furniture containing "excessive levels of lead," the company said in a statement Wednesday.
The recall affects some 350,000 toys bearing the "Happy Giddy Gardening Tools" and "Sunny Patch Children's Chairs" logos, the Minneapolis, Minnesota-based retailer said, in the latest of a spate of recalls that have sullied the "Made-in-China" brand in the United States.
Meanwhile, the RC2 Corporation on Wednesday announced that it too would voluntarily recall five "Thomas and Friends" wooden toy train items made in China, due to lead paint levels that exceed US Consumer Product Safety Commission standards.
The new recalls, RC2 said, affect up to 200,000 toy units distributed domestically and some 69,000 units sold outside the United States.
Those recalls follow a forced recall in June of 1.5 million "Thomas and Friends" wooden toy trains because the items were finished with lead paint.
The US banned the use of lead paint on toys in 1978 on health grounds and earlier this month US lawmakers questioned industry executives over what was being done to stop dangerous Chinese-made toys being imported.
The US toy industry is vying to ward off a mounting political storm and increasing public fear about the safety of Chinese-made products following a series of mass recalls in recent months.
China produces most of the world's toys and operates around 20,000 toy-making plants, according to some estimates.
Concern over Chinese toy exports -- some with lead paint, some with other safety defects -- have led to the recalls now numbering in millions of items and affect some of America's more popular brands, including Barbie dolls, and some of its marquee companies and retailers like Mattel, Fisher Price, and Toys "R" US.
At a US congressional hearing earlier this month, one lawmaker went as far as to say that the "made in China" label had now to become a warning label that consumers would try to steer clear of.
Concerns also are on the rise overseas. The European Commission earlier this month said it may ban some Chinese-made goods unless Beijing demonstrates it is effectively dealing with potentially dangerous products.