Mickey Mouse, Bulwinkle and Mr. Potato Head posed recently in the classic
“hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil” stance under the headline “What
Chemicals Are in Toys?” in a USA Today newspaper advertisement
sponsored by Environmental Defense.
Environmental Defense discovered last year that government regulators do not
know what chemicals are contained in children’s products, including toys.
Environmental Defense executive director Fred Krupp late last year asked the
heads of major toy manufacturers to disclose their products’ chemical
ingredients voluntarily. But after a promising dialogue, the toy industry decided
that disclosing the chemicals used in toys would be “misleading.”
“Environmental Defense believes consumers are entitled to know what
chemicals their children are being exposed to,” said Environmental Defense
senior attorney David Roe. “Since the government doesn’t know, the
manufacturers are the only ones who can tell us.”
The ad displayed the Toy Manufacturers of America (TMA) statement: “We
do not believe that providing the consumer with knowledge of the chemical
ingredients of toys will . . . advance the safety of toy products or the
protection of consumers. In fact, it may mislead them.” The full text of TMA’s
letter to Environmental Defense can be found at
“Environmental Defense hopes the toy manufacturers will recognize that
what’s good for their customers is good for them,” said Roe. “When it comes
to chemicals, hands over eyes is not a reassuring stance.”
For the full text of the industry’s position, the ad itself, and more background,
visit www.environmentaldefense.org/ToyAd online. This release grants
permission to reproduce the ad, in whole or in part, to all legitimate news
organizations without charge.
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