Even toy industry representatives admit to seeing this writing on the wall. As this year's big corporate scandal continues to play out, with more and more toys recalled for dangerous lead paint, lawmakers are now trying to get a handle on the public safety and public relations disaster.
California Attorney General Jerry Brown (a former governor and presidential candidate) and Rocky Delgadillo, a Los Angeles city attorney, announced today that they would file a lawsuit against Mattel Inc., Toys R Us Inc. and 18 other companies, reports the Los Angeles Times. The officials accuse them of making or selling products that contain "unlawful quantities of lead."
The suit falls under California's Proposition 65 law, and would force manufacturers and retailers to adopt procedures for inspecting products to make sure they are safe. Otherwise, they would be required to warn consumers that the items contained chemicals known to cause cancer or birth defects.
Interestingly, Mattel, the lead defendant in the lawsuit, has responded by saying it welcomes the state's involvement. Given that big business rarely responds favorably to increased government oversight, the development underscores how serious the lead paint problem is.
Perhaps the toy industry realizes that their best hope for winning back parent trust is to appear as eager as possible to ferret out toxins and operate transparently. Gone are the days, hopefully, when corporate officers can hide behind Byzantine international supply chains and subcontractors.
Learn more about toy recalls and safe toys, and find extensive lists of toys that are made in America and not sourced from China, here.
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