Toys linked to a date-rape drug recalled
China-made beads for kids metabolize into GhB when ingested
WASHINGTON - Millions of Chinese-made toys have been pulled from shelves in North America and Australia after scientists found they contain a chemical that converts into a powerful “date rape” drug when ingested. Two children in the U.S. and three in Australia were hospitalized after swallowing the beads.
With only seven weeks until Christmas, the recall is yet another blow to the toy industry — already bruised by a slew of recalls last summer.
In the United States, the toy goes by the name Aqua Dots, a highly popular holiday toy distributed by Toronto-based Spin Master Toys. It is called Bindeez in Australia, where it was named toy of the year at an industry function earlier this year.
Moose Enterprises said Bindeez and Aqua Dots are made at the same factory, which is located in Shenzhen in China’s southern Guangdong province. Last week the Chinese government announced an export ban on more than 700 toy factories in the region because of shoddy products.
It’s the free hand of the market, Chinese-style. The same free hand that brought us melamin-tainted dog food and antifreeze-contaminated cough syrup.
Side effects of swallowing the GhB-laden Aqua-Dots include “unconsciousness, seizures, drowsiness, coma and death”:
The two U.S. children who swallowed Aqua Dot beads went into nonresponsive comas, commission spokesman Scott Wolfson said Wednesday. A 20-month-old has recovered completely while the other child, whose age was not known, has been released from a hospital after five days and is recovering, he said.
Thankfully, we still have a somewhat-functioning government, where underfunded government agencies the Consumer Product Safety Commission are at least able to read news reports from Australia and issue a product recall.
Keep that in mind next time a Republican or Libertarian tells you the government is too big and we need to get rid of “useless agencies” like this one.