Childrens’ Toy Aqua Dots Recalled for Containing a Chemical That When Eaten Converts Into “Date Rape Drug”

Aqua Dots, a/k/a Aqua Beads, a Chinese-made toy, was recalled Wednesday, November 7, 2007, by the Consumer Product Safety Commission after two children in the United States and three in Australia were hospitalized after swallowing the beads.

Aqua Dots are packets of brightly colored beads that children arrange into mosaic designs. When sprinkled with water, the beads then stick together in as little as 10 minutes to form durable artworks. The toy was pulled from shelves after scientists found they contain a chemical that converts into a dangerous, potentially fatal drug when eaten. The chemical coating on the beads, when … Read the rest

In the Immortal Words of Ralph Kramden: “Whoa, what a surprise!”

We recently wrote about the efforts of the chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commision (CPSC), Nancy Nord, to oppose a Senate bill that would increase the budget and authority of the Commission to regulate consumer products such as children’s toys. It seemed more than a little odd that the government official in charge of protecting consumers would oppose legislation designed to improve product safety. Now a review of internal CPSC documents by The Washington Post reveals that since 2002 Chairman Nord, as well as her predecessor, Hal Stratton, have enjoyed nearly 30 trips totaling nearly $60,000.00 that were … Read the rest

Top U.S. Official for Protecting Consumer Product Safety Wants LESS Money and Clout to Enforce Consumer Protection Laws Than Senate Committee Approves

In an attempt to rectify problems and ensure the safety of our children, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation voted yesterday to approve a bill which would overhaul federal standards on consumer products, and includes vital whistle-blower provisions to protect employees who report consumer safety violations. Yet notwithstanding the widely reported recalls of children’s products and the real risks posed to consumers, the top U.S. official for consumer product safety, Nancy A. Nord, the acting chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), had asked Congress in recent days to reject the legislation.

Thus far this year, Read the rest

Medtronic Urges Doctors to Stop Using Defibrillator Leads After Linking Five Deaths to Breaks in Them

The nation’s largest maker of implanted heart devices, Medtronic, said yesterday that it was voluntarily urging doctors to stop using a family of leads known as the Sprint Fidelis, a crucial component in its most recent implantable defibrillator models, because the leads break too often.

Medtronic told doctors to stop using the Sprint Fidelis wires after linking five deaths to breaks in them. The company said the Fidelis wires failed slightly more often than the thicker wires they were meant to replace. A lead is a wire that connects the heart to a defibrillator, a device implanted near the shoulder … Read the rest

Hazards Associated with Children’s Toys Go Well Beyond China and Lead Paint

2007 is on its way to becoming the year when more toys were recalled than any other year in the history of the toy industry. As of August 15, 2007, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) had recalled 40 toys, which extrapolates to 56 recalls by the end of the year. Much attention has been paid to the problem of toys colored with lead paint. Mattel, the world’s largest toy company, announced three major recalls, involving some 20 million items. The company said a number of toy cars and Barbie-related accessories had been colored with lead paint. … Read the rest

New York City and New York State File Suit Against MERCK Alleging Medicaid Fraud

Both New York City and New York State have joined together and, following the example of various other states, including Louisiana Mississippi and Utah, have filed suit against Merck& Company.

It is alleged that Merck not only defrauded consumers but also defrauded the state Medicaid program and other government insurance programs by purposefully concealing the dangerous side effects of Vioxx.

Vioxx was prescribed to patients for the treatment of migraines and arthritis but caused a high increase in heart attacks and strokes, and was pulled off the market in September of 2004.

Medicaid claims that had Merck been forthcoming of … Read the rest

Kid Nation Controversy

“40 Kids have 40 days to build a brave new world without adults to help or hinder their efforts,” says CBS in describing its new controversial show, Kid Nation.

The program, set to debut on September 19th, is being described as a hybrid of CBS’s Survivor and Rudyard Kipling’s Lord of the Flies. During the 40 days, the children, aged 8 to 15, cooked, cleaned, formed a government, and ran a business without the supervision of any adults in a deserted New Mexico location (which is reported to be a town created with old movie sets). The filming … Read the rest

Another Week, Another Recall of Toys

Mattel, the world’s largest toy company and the maker of Barbie dolls and Hot Wheels cars, yesterday announced the biggest recall in its history. The company said it was recalling 436,000 Chinese-made die-cast toy cars depicting the character Sarge from the animated film Cars because they are covered with lead paint.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission advises consumers to immediately take the recalled toys away from children and contact Mattel. Consumers will need to return the product to receive a replacement toy.

At the same time, the toy maker said it was recalling 18.2 million other toys because their … Read the rest

Lead Paint Prompts Mattel to Recall Nearly 1 Million Toys

Mattel is recalling 967,000 toys, including 83 products featuring Sesame Street and Nickelodeon characters, because the products are covered in lead paint. The products are sold in retailers including Wal-Mart, Target and Toys “R” Us.

More than 300,000 tainted toys, which include Elmo Tub Sub, the Dora the Explorer Backpack, and the Giggle Gabber, and may have a date code from 109-7LF to 187-7LF, have been bought by consumers in the United States. The toys were manufactured in a factory in China, whose factories have recently been sources of poisonous pet food, dangerous car tires, and lead paint on Thomas … Read the rest