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Mattel admits it could have done better job on Chinese products

Thursday, September 13, 2007

WASHINGTON -- Acknowledging that "we are by no means perfect," Mattel Inc. CEO Robert Eckert said Wednesday the company could have done a better job overseeing subcontractors in China that produced more than 21 million recalled toys.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission embraced Democrats' calls for more money after years of cutbacks to the agency. "This situation cannot continue," said Nancy Nord, the CPSC's acting chief.

Testimony to Congress on Wednesday by both federal regulators and toy manufacturers detailed loose Chinese standards and spotty U.S. enforcement that have contributed to a spate of recalls of Chinese-made toys, food and other products as health threats.

Seeking to tamp down public outrage, Eckert told a Senate Appropriations subcommittee that the company would now test the safety of Chinese-made products with its own laboratories or with laboratories certified by the company.

He disputed reports that public warnings about the dangerous products were delayed because of disagreements with federal regulators or that Mattel might be motivated by saving money at the expense of safety when it chose to do business in China.


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