Thursday, August 30, 2007

The dragon roars

BEIJING (Reuters) - Mattel has only itself to blame for a huge toy recall that has stoked global alarm about Chinese-made goods, state media said on Thursday, charging that a slew of foreign safety scares had exposed a protectionist agenda.

Mattel Inc, the world's largest toymaker, recalled over 18 million Chinese-made toys this month because of risks from small magnets that can injure children if swallowed, just two weeks after it recalled 1.5 million toys due to fears over lead paint.

Coming in the wake of warnings over Chinese-made toothpaste, pet food, tires, eels and seafood, and lethal chemicals that had found their way into medicine, the toy recall has magnified calls in Washington for much tougher scrutiny of such imports.

I expect more information this afternoon when a spokesman for China's Ministry of Unconvincing Denials holds a press conference in Beijing at the Pavillion of Eternal Mendacity.

Cartoon from Cox & Forkum