Friday, December 14, 2007

Dollar Tree recalls 300,000 toys

Dollar Tree Stores Inc is recalling 300,000 baby bead toys and toy cars made in China for excessive lead content, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The baby bead toys were sold nationwide from March 2007 through October 2007, while the Speed Racer Pull Back & Go cars were sold from September 2007 through November 2007

Monday, December 10, 2007

Toxic Toys Report Out

The Environmental Health Project for the Ecology Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan conducted tests on more than 1,200 toys and found out many contain toxic substances.

According to the toy safety report, the highest concentrations of lead were found in children’s jewelry - more than 33% contained lead at levels greater than 600 parts per million, a standard for toys and children’s products set by the CPSC.

It also found other chemicals such as cadmium, arsenic and mercury in a small percentage of the toys, as well as phthalates, found in toys made with polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

More info here:

"Toxic Turkeys" from China

This spoof news article about toxic turkeys from China, written by Andy Borowitz, is simply hilarious.

Monday, December 3, 2007

200+ Pets Died From Tainted Pet Food

Vets have confirmed that more than 200 cats and dogs died because of tainted per food that originated from China. American Veterinary Medical Association conducted a survey and found out that 348 cases of pet sickness — 236 cats and 112 dogs — met the criteria for kidney failure caused by the pet food contaminated with melamine and cyanuric acid.

The pet food scandal caused the recall of 60 million packages of pet food.

Fake Moon Photos?

China is famous for fake wines and bootleg DVDs, but fake moon photos?

Rumors are abuzz in the net about the veracity of the first photos supposedly taken by China's Chang'e 1 probe. Net denizens have noticed the similarity between the Chang'e 1 photo and the one released by NASA in 2005. Chinese officials deny the claims.

What's next, fake aliens?

Via First Light

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

US Recalls Aquadots Toys

United States Consumer Products Safety Commission is recalling 4 million Aquadots toys, which were found to contain toxic chemicals.

The chemicals, when ingested, can cause children to become comatose or have seizures. Two US children already fell ill after accidentally swallowing the beads from the toys.

Consumers may contact Spin Master at (800) 622-8339 between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. EST Monday through Friday or visit the firm’s Web site at

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Australia Bans 'Bindeez'

Australia announced the nationwide ban of China-made toy beads, called Bindeez. The beads wre found to contain toxic chemicals that metabolizes into a substance similar to a date-rape drug called GBH. Three Australian children already fell it after accidentally swallowing the beads. The bead contain the chemical 1,4-butanediol which causes seizures.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Cars Backpacks Recall

Target Corp., the second-largest U.S. discount chain, and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is recalling 110,000 Chinese-made "Cars" movie-themed backpacks

The backpacks, sold at Target stores from February through September for $13 each, have game pieces with magnets that may become loose and may be swallowed by children.

Ugly Teeth Recalled

Factory Card & Party Outlet Corp. announced a voluntary nationwide recall of approximately 2,500 "Ugly Teeth" Halloween party favors. The products may contain unsafe levels of lead. The recalled product, purchased from JCS Hong Kong Limited, can be identified by the Universal Product Code 0-48419-65002-7, which appears below the bar code on the back of the package.

Information about this recall is available on Factory Card's web site. Consumers may also call the company's consumer services hotline at 888-840-8066 between 9:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. Central Time beginning October 30th.

China Arrests 774 in Shoddy Products Crackdown

China has arrested 774 people in an effort to stem the tide of shoddy product being made in the country. The arrests resulted from 626 criminal investigations related to the manufacture and sale of fake and substandard products. 200 illegal food companies were also shutdown during the crackdown.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Starbucks Recalls Cups

Starbucks is recalling China-made cups. The cups, which have molded plastic animal faces representing a ladybird, a turtle, a bunny and a chick and have a plastic top, are being recalled because they pose a choking hazard for children.

Starbucks said consumers may contact the company through its Web site,, for information on returning the cups for a refund.

Monday, October 8, 2007

23 Filipino Children Fell Ill to Chinese Candies

Twenty-three Filipino children, hailing from Bantayan Island in Cebu, fell ill last week after eating candied made in Guandong, China. The children, who complained of vomiting, stomachache and dizziness, got sick after eating Ube Milk Candies, which were given to them during a party.

Friday, October 5, 2007

New Toy Recalls

  • About 35,000 Baby Einstein Discover & Play Color Blocks, distributed by Kids II Inc. The blocks were sold around the country between June and September. For more information, or to arrange for a free replacement block, call 866-203-6788 or visit
  • About 79,000 "Pirates of the Caribbean" medallion squeeze lights, imported by the Eveready Battery Co., a brand of Energizer Holdings, Inc. The flashlights were sold nationwide and online between September 2006 and October 2007. For more information, or to receive a voucher for another Eveready product, call 800-925-0628 or visit
  • About 15,000 Totally Me! Funky Room Decor Sets, manufactured by Hong Kong-based CKI Toys and imported by Toys "R" Us Inc. The kits were sold at Toys "R" Us stores around the country and on the company's Web site between May and September 2007. Return the sets to any Toys "R" Us store in exchange for store credit. For more information, call 800-869-7787 or visit
  • About 10,000 wooden Pull-Along Alphabet & Math Blocks wagons, Pull-Along Learning Blocks wagons, 10-in-1 Activity Learning Carts and Flip-Flop alphabet blocks, imported by KB Toys Inc. The toys were sold at KB Toys stores around the country between August 2005 and September 2007. Return the toys to any KB Toys store in exchange for store credit. For more information call 888-843-9520 or visit
  • About 63,000 green, plastic cups shaped like Frankenstein's head, imported by Dollar General Merchandising Inc. The cups were sold at Dollar general stores around the country in September. For a refund or replacement product, return the key chains to the place of purchase. For more information, call 800-678-9258 or visit
  • About 192,000 key chains imported by Dollar General Merchandising Inc. The key chains feature a metal charm engraved with "wisdom," "truth," "believe," "love," "hope" or "dream." They were sold at Dollar General stores around the country between June 2005 and August 2007. For a refund or replacement product, return the key chains to the place of purchase. For more information, call 800-678-9258 or visit
  • About 150,000 bookmarks and journals, imported by Antioch Publishing. The products feature a variety of decorations including breast cancer awareness and Winnie the Pooh. The bookmarks and journals were sold at book, card and gift stores around the country between March 2005 and October 2007. Some of the bookmarks were sold with bracelets. For more information, or to arrange for a refund, call 800-543-1515 or visit
  • About 11,200 Alpine Design aluminum water bottles imported by The Sports Authority Inc. The water bottles are decorated with pink flowers, a mouse or a zebra. They were sold at Sports Authority stores around the country between April 2006 and September 2007. For a full refund, return the bottles to a Sports Authority store. For more information, visit

Monday, October 1, 2007

The Man who Started it All

International Herald Tribune has the story of Eduardo Arias, the Panamanian who discovered the diethylene glycol (DEG)-tainted toothpaste from China. DEG is a common anti-freeze and is toxic to humans.

Arias' discovery led to the recall of millions of tubes of toothpaste in 34 countries, including the United States. DEG was also discovered to have been mixed in cough syrup, which led to the deaths of 138 Panamanians last year.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Tainted Pork Poisons Kids in China

Three hundred seven kids in China fell ill after eating tainted buns and porridge. The food poisoning, which strike kindergarten kids from Wuwei city, Gansu province, was apparently caused by pork infected with diarrhea-inducing bacteria.

Philippines Bans Chinese Food Products from Schools

The Philippine government has banned the sale of four Chinese-made foodstuff in schools due to formaldehyde content. The banned products include White Rabbit and Milk Candy brand, Bairong Grape Biscuits and the Yong Kang Foods Grape Biscuit.

The foodstuff were found to contain high levels of formaldehyde, a chemical used for embalming.

Interesting Tidbit

As of mid-August, 95% -- or 38 out of 40 -- of toys recalled by CPSC this year were made in China, according to report from the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada. That rate is up from 41% in 1997, when China made nine of the 22 toys recalled.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Made in China Cribs Recalled

One million cribs that were made in China are being recalled for design flaws. The recall, which involve Simplicity and Graco cribs, follows reports that three infants died because of incorrectly installed drop sides on the cribs.

CSPC announcement

Simplicity announcement

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Mattel's Apology to China

Mattel apparently apologized to China over its recall of 21 million toys. According to the company, it's design flaws were to blame for the debacle. Mattel probably were arm-twisted felt compelled to apologize to preserve its good working relationship with China.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Leukemia Drugs, this time

The parade goes on. China is recalling two types of leukemia drugs which it says were tainted and could cause complications to patients who took them. The drugs,produced by a pharmaceutical company in Shanghai, include methotrexate and cytarabin hydrochloride.

The health ministry and the State Food and Drug Administration said the drugs were mistakenly blended with an anti-cancer medicine during production.

Monday, September 10, 2007

China the Bully

China is hitting back at its trading partners that complained about unsafe and shoddy products, according to this report.

Indonesia was asked to lower its product standards after Indonesian authorities found mercury-laced make-up, carcinogen-laden candy and industrial chemicals-infused dried fruit.

China recalled Philippine-made banana chips, ostensibly because of quality issues, after the country's food safety agency banned Chinese candies found to contain formaldehyde.

China also hit back at Malaysia after the latter found fungus on nuts and died fruit containing carcinogenic sweeteners imported from the country by recalling Malaysian-made yogurt.

Walt Disney to Check Toys for Lead

Walt Disney announced that it will conduct independent testing on toys bearing the characters of the company. The testing - which will look for excessive lead in paint on toys - will be conducted in random, and will include toys already in the shelves.

Choking Chicken and Mineral Water

In the wires today: a family in Hainan, China used a chicken to test the quality of mineral water they bought. The hapless chicken died vomiting blood a minute after drinking the water.

Nissan's Lead-laced Mugs

Nissan is recalling 87,000 mugs it gave away for free because of excessive lead the freebies contain. The China-made mugs were given to people who test-drove Nissan cars in Japan starting August 16.

One unlucky driver already fell ill after using the mug for drinking. It was found out that the paint on the mug contains about 30% more lead than what is permissible.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Lead Leads Mattel to 3rd Toy Recall

Mattel will recall 800,000 China-made toys over excessive amounts of lead that they contain. The recall is the third for the company still reeling from its previous recalls announced last August 1 and 14.

The new recall covers 675,000 Barbie accessories sold between October 2006 and August 2007. It also includes 90,000 units of Mattel's GeoTrax locomotive line and about 8,900 Big Big World 6-in-1 Bongo Band toys, both Fisher-Price brand. The Big Big World products were sold nationwide from July through August of this year, while the GeoTrax toys were sold from September 2006 through August of this year.

Mattel's recall site is here

Monday, September 3, 2007

Australian State Bans Chinese Toothpastes

Australian state Victoria will ban the importation of Chinese-made toothpastes. The decision follows the series of scandals in which a toxic chemical from China - diethylene glycol (DEG) - was used as a substitute for a sweetener.

DEG is usually used as an industrial solvent and antifreeze, but found its way in Chinese-made toothpastes in countries such as Panama and the United States.

The recalled toothpaste include Tri Leaf Spearmint, Cool Mate and Hei, which were found to contain up to 16 per cent DEG, compared with an acceptable level of 0.25 per cent, according to the Victoria Department of Consumer Affairs on its Web site.

More here

No Pork from China for Me

I think I won't have any pork and pork-related products from China for me in the time being. News wires are reporting that a mysterious pig disease - called blue-eared pig disease - is spreading in China. It has affected 257,000 pigs so far by late August, and the disease has killed 68,000 pigs during that period.

Toys R Us Recalls Crayons

Toys R Us chain is recalling 27,000 sets of China-made crayon and paint sets. The 213-piece Imaginarium sets were recalled after the wooden cases were discovered to contain high levels of lead.

"Lead" Pencils from China

Canada is recalling imported pencils from China due to excessive lead content. So far, 140,000 units (with around 16 models) of Favor Set brand of pencils were recalled, which were found to have high levels of lead in their coatings.

The pencils recalled are: Prehistoric Party Favor Set, Keep on Truckin Favor Set, Championship Baseball Favor Set, Championship Soccer Favor Set, Championship Basketball Favor Set, Championship Football Favor Set, Camouflage Favor Set, Pirate Party Favor Set, Hearts & Flowers Favor Set, Unicorn Magic Favor Set, Frogs & Lizards Favor Set, Princess Favor Set, Shimmering Butterfly Favor Set, Underwater Friends Favor Set, Safari Party Favor Set and Glitzy Girl Favor Set.

The pencils should be taken from children and returned to: Amscan Canada 60 Lindsay Avenue, Dorval, Que. H9P 2T8 Phone 1-800-363-6662 . For further information, contact Health Canada at 1-888-662-0666 (toll-free) or email at .

Friday, August 31, 2007

Fake Wine a Problem in China

Apparently Chinese consumers aren't also spared with the rash of unsafe products coming from their country. McClatchy has this story about the proliferation of bootleg, watered down and falsely labeled wines.

The report even cited an example of watered grape juice being sold as wine. Now that's something nobody can just swirl and spit.

Lamps Recalled in UK

UK safety officials have recalled a type of China-made lamps, which could cause electrocution. The lamps are easily disassembled which exposed live wiring. They also carry non-standard fuses and the British Standard 3-pin plugs.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Kids' watering cans

About 6,000 children's watering cans are being recalled because the paint on the beak of the can contains lead. The cans were sold at Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts stores nationwide.

Consumers should return the item to Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts for a refund. For more details, call 1-888-739-4120, ext. 7, or go to or

China-made Boots Recalled

Wolverine World Wide, maker of Caterpillar logger boots, have recalled steel-toed boots that were made in China. The boots, numbering around 9,500, were incorrectly labeled as electric resistant, thus carrying a risk of electric shock to its users.

The boots were sold around the United States in women's and men's sizes between September 2006 and July 2007, for between $90 and $130 a pair.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Another Day, Another Recall: Sponge Bob this time

Ohio importer Martin Designs Inc. is recalling made in China Sponge Bob address books and journals that were found to contain dangerous levels of lead in their springs.

The products - with UPC codes printed on the back cover 80773007505 (address book) and 80773002260, 80773075501 and 80773007551 (journals) - were sold in stores from June 2006 through July 2007.

Lead, if ingested in large amounts, may cause brain damage in children.

Consumers should dispose of the product and return the UPC code for a full refund to Martin Designs, Attention: Product Recall, 605 Westlake Dr., Ashland OH 44805.

For more information, consumers can call the company at 1-866-898-0261 or visit its Web site or the CPSC's Web site

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Nokia's Battery Problem

Nokia recently recalled millions of cellphone batteries due to overheating problems. The batteries - 46 million in all - were made by Matsushita in China.

The lithium ion batteries were made in a Matsushita facility in Zhuhai, China, and are used for more than 50 models of Nokia mobile phone mobiles, from the most basic 1100 model to the most advanced N91 model, between December 2005 and November 2006.

The Finnish phone manufacturer will replace the batteries at no cost.

Nokia's product advisory

Yet Another Failed Crash Test

The China-made Chery Amulet failing its crash test. The Amulet is for the Russian market, sold for $9000 apiece.

By the way, Chery has started selling cheap cars in the Philippines for about 390 thousand pesos each (about $8,600).

Via Gizmodo

Recalled Toys

Mattel has recalled 19 million toys so far. Affected products include the following:

Lead in paint:
  • Fisher-Price
  • Cars Sarge character
  • Polly Pocket
  • Batman Magna play sets
  • Barbie and Tanner accessory
  • Doggie Daycare
  • Shonen Jump's One Piece

Mattel site for recalled toys:

Chinese Car Fails Crash test

The new China-made 2007 Brilliance BS6 (made under the name of Zhonghua) fails its crash test. The test was conducted by the European testing agency, and the car was crashed against a deformable object at 40 mph.

The car got a one-star rating because of the test.

Cardboard Steamed Buns

The Chinese government may say otherwise, but i daresay the original report was true.

Dog Treats with Melamine

Wal-Mart has stopped selling two Chinese brands of dog treats in its stores after tests revealed that the pet food contains traces of melamine - a chemical used in making plastics.

The products are Chicken Jerky Strips from Import-Pingyang Pet Product Co. and Chicken Jerky from Shanghai Bestro Trading (with UPC number 0087784900006 and item number 839751).

Earlier this year the US recalled 150 brands of pet food after inspectors discovered that the wheat gluten used to manufacture them contains melamine.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc.:

Blankets with Formaldehyde

Australia and New Zealand are recalling blankets that are made in China, according to this report. The blankets - the Superlux brand variety - are sold by Australian-based Charles Parson and are found to contain high levels of formaldehyde, a chemical used for embalming corpses. This follows a report that the New Zealand government has found the same chemical in Chinese-made woolen and cotton clothes.

Dirty Chopsticks

A Beijing factory was reported to have sold recycled disposable bamboo chopsticks. The dirty chopsticks were re-sold and repackaged without any form of disinfection.

The owner was able to sell about half a million pairs of recycled chopsticks, selling them 0.04 yuan a pair.

The factory that sold the dirty chopsticks was raided by the police and arrested its owner.

Reported today here.

Welcome to Unmade in China

This blog chronicles the unending series of news about the shoddy and potentially dangerous products made in China, as a sort of warning to the unsuspecting public about them.