Did you hear the one about the toy named for a genius that was found to carry a toxin that can cause diminished intellectual capacity? No, really.
In a particularly sick twist to the "Made in China/Sold To Americans" poisoned toy scandal, last week the Disney-owned Baby Einstein brand recalled their "Discover And Play" soft blocks for babies. That's right. A company founded on the notion that parents engaging in creative play with babies and toddlers can, as they say on their website, "help expose their little ones to the world around them in playful and enriching ways -- stimulating a baby's natural curiosity" has a toy in its line -- manufactured by a licensee, Kids II in Alpharetta, Georgia -- that has lead paint on it.
Oh, and it's a fuzzy block. The kind you'd toss into a crib.
You all know about lead poisoning, right? According to the EPA's website, "Lead may cause a range of health effects, from behavioral problems and learning disabilities, to seizures and death. Children 6 years old and under are most at risk, because their bodies are growing quickly."
No mention of any emerging Einsteins there.
That about sums up the state of the US toy business these days, just as the country nears the important Christmas toy-buying season. You just can't make this stuff up.
As the official website says, "Baby Einstein products are not designed to make babies smarter."
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