Toy scare sparks warning on all Chinese imports

Retailers and manufacturers that import any products from China are being advised to check their quality following recent safety scares.

The latest problems are with Chinese-made toys. Last week, Fisher-Price recalled toys over concerns that their paint contained too much lead. Now, Argos and Woolworths have withdrawn several lines made by US toy company Mattel because of similar worries. The Argos products are those featuring children’s characters Dora the Explorer and Diego.

However, toys are not the only category likely to face trouble, warns David Williams of international law firm Hammonds, which defends companies against product liability suits.

“The number of products that don’t conform to the British safety standards is increasing,” he says, “and unfortunately it’s becoming obvious that goods produced in countries like China seem to be the ones most likely to be withdrawn from sale.”

China has promised to introduce tougher quality controls on products, but some UK companies have had difficulty pursuing Chinese culprits in product liability cases. Some cases have ended with no result and no compensation.

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