Chinese Product Recalls Crisis 2007
We use a variety of products everyday but some products are toxic and need to be recalled. In 2007, China had a public relations and trade crisis on its hands when a series of product recalls on its exports were announced. The product safety institutions of the United States, Canada, the European Union, Australia, and New Zealand imposed bans on products manufactured in and exported from China because of lead in paint and other safety concerns. The products fell into a variety of categories including toys, toothpaste, pet food, cosmetics, and even seafood.
Product safety recalls are serious business. If you have been hurt by a product that has been recalled for safety issues seek the help of an experienced products liability attorney. Product recalls from 2007 included:
On August 13, 2007 hotel amenity provider Gilchrist & Soames recalled toothpaste manufactured in China because it was contaminated with poisonous diethylene glycol, a constituent of antifreeze. Some Chinese manufacturers had been using it as a less-expensive substitute for glycerol, which is a safe ingredient often used to thicken toothpaste.
Two brands of Chinese-made toothpaste, Spearmint and Trileaf Spearmint were pulled from the shelves in Europe after it was discovered that they also contained diethylene glycol.
A well known pet food recall was issued in March 2007 after a Canadian pet food manufacturer notified the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that animals had died after eating its products. The FDA identified melamine in the pet food which is an industrial chemical found in plastics and resins. Of 230 samples tested for melamine, 130 came back positive in the food itself or in the wheat gravy that accompanied the food.
The FDA believes that although the food was imported from China, the melamine was added to the wheat gluten and rice protein concentrate by US manufacturers. Since this initial assessment, American journalists have reported that factory owners in China have admitted to adding melamine to pet foods. The purpose was to increase the nitrogen content of the food to make it appear that it contained more protein than it actually did. China banned the practice of adding melamine to food products on April 26, 2007, but does not take responsibility for any deaths to pets.
In June 2007, toy firm RC2 Corp was forced to recall several of its Thomas & Friends wooden train sets due to lead in the paint used by Chinese manufacturers. Later that year, RC2 recalled all of its The First Years 3-in-1 Flush and Sounds Potty Seats because a Chinese contractor had used orange paint that contained excessive levels of lead on the plaque inserted into the back of the seat.
The year 2007 was not a great year for the world’s biggest toy company Mattel as it recalled millions of products in a four week span. On August 1, Sesame Street and Dora the Explorer toys were recalled because of lead levels in the paint. On August 14, 7.1 million Polly Pocket toys; 600,000 Barbie and Tanner Playsets; 1 million Doggie Daycare, Shonen Jump’s One Piece; and thousands of Batman Manga toys were recalled due to exposed magnets that could fall off. They also recalled Sarge diecast toys from the Pixar movie Cars because of concerns over lead in the paint. On September 4, Mattel recalled 800,000 Barbie doll accessories and Fisher-Price toys after tests showed the paint used on them contained lead. Mattel ended up issuing an apology to China’s manufacturers acknowledging that the majority of the product recalls were due to their own design flaws rather than poor manufacturing processes.
In November 2007, the toy called Bindeez exported by an Australian distributor was voluntarily recalled due to the paint containing a toxic chemical that made children sick when it metabolized into the anesthetic GHB.
On November 9, 2007 Marvel Toys recalled 175,000 Curious George plush dolls manufactured in China as they contained an excessive amount of lead in their surface paint.
On November 8, 2007 Dolgencorp recalled about 51,000 Children’s Fashion Sunglasses imported from China due to dangerous levels of lead.
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