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Canada Pulls Toxic Imported Toys Off Store Shelves

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Ottawa, ONHere we go again. A toy recall, after numerous products—most of which were made in China—were found to have dangerous levels of lead. This time the issue is on Canadian soil, but an issue that has affected Americans in the past, who have seen recalled toys from China. To the US toy buyer, a toxic toy recall is nothing new.

Toy StoreIn Canada, government legislation requires that any recall of product has to be voluntary on the part of the manufacturers, or the importers. However, after numerous products were tested Health Canada alerted the various manufacturers and importers, who have wasted little time in getting the affected products off store shelves.

Affected products are popular toys such as mini hockey sticks and pewter charms. This, on the eve of the busy Christmas buying season. Consumers are already out shopping for the holidays. Hunting for bargains and with thoughts of the global economic crisis top-of-mind, shoppers are starting early to avoid the last-minute rush that often results in over-spending. They're also downsizing in terms of gift buying, with an eye towards lower-priced gifts.

Toys such as charms and mini sticks are quite popular and priced right. However, independent testing revealed that such toys contained high levels of toxic lead—a revelation confirmed by Health Canada in follow-up testing.

But here's another blockbuster: baby pacifiers containing lead. Deadly, toxic lead. Lead which, if ingested, could result in vomiting, a drop in IQ, irritability, diarrhea, even death.

A baby pacifier. Made with lead. It's enough to make your blood boil.

Canada's Health Minister Tony Clement is boiling, and he has vowed to crack down on unsafe toys when the Canadian Parliament reconvenes in November. Clement is talking stricter penalties for offenders, and the ability to undertake a mandatory recall should a product be shown to warrant such action, for the ultimate protection of the consumer.

"It's pretty disturbing when these kinds of products are out on the market. It's very frustrating," Clement said, in comments appearing in a Canwest News story. "It's very difficult for a parent to know when a product contains a toxic chemical just by looking at it . . . It's one of those areas where it's important for the government to step in and protect human health."

The recalled products include:

Mini Hockey Sticks
CTG Kool Charmz
Charm Craft Kits
Make it Special Pewter Charms
My Baby Brand Pacifiers

While China enjoys one of the fastest-growing economies in the world right now, the country has also earned a reputation for substandard products that are often toxic. The genesis of this whole mess is one of economics: North American manufacturers find it less-expensive to have products manufactured in remote places such as China, which allows for much higher profit margins.

But somehow, nobody is minding the store. Everything from toxic toothpaste, to adulterated pet food and tainted heparin have found their way into American shopping bags, and toys containing dangerous levels of lead have been showing up under Christmas trees. Precious North American manufacturing jobs have been lost in the process, and our kids are playing with lead-laced toys because of it.

Our babies are putting lead-laced pacifiers in their mouths.

What is wrong with America? For that matter, what is wrong with Canada? Why is this stuff allowed into our borders in the first place? Why isn't someone bringing the hammer down on countries such as China that so willingly flaunt common decency in the pursuit of the almighty buck?

And people wonder why lawyers are so busy…if my baby were to ever put a lead-laced pacifier in his, or her mouth and get sick or die because of it, I would sue the bastards.
Get out of my way. Here comes my lawyer and me, and we're taking no prisoners.

Every toxic toy recall just proves that somebody either doesn't care to check shipments before they show up on store shelves, or has dropped the ball completely because they're too busy counting their money.

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