Sunday, August 05, 2007

Latest in a series of "Made in China" product recalls

Fisher Price Character toys - see Consumer 3rd August
Toothpaste - see Consumer 15 June
Thomas The Tank Engine - see Consumer 14 June

So how does the average parent know that wooden toys which are labelled "non-toxic", have been subjected to regular testing by the importer and are really non-toxic (and lead free?)

You don't according to Green Party spokeswoman, Sue Kedgely:
"Our consumer protection scheme is reactive, seemingly only responding when a scandal breaks overseas. It appears to be based on the notion all consumer products sold in New Zealand are safe and true to label – obviously naive, in the wake of recent controversy." (

What are the alternatives?
The only safe option seems to be to stick to:
- toys made in NZ
- wooden toys with eco-friendly non-toxic finishes

Alternatively, you can buy lead paint testing kits from paint stores ... but that seems a bit extreme.

Read about how high lead levels can affect young children.

Postscript: Some toys in NZ carry the CE mark. The CE mark is a declaration on manufactured products sold in the European Union (EU) that the item meets all the requirements of relevant EU directives. (

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