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Another Mattel recall makes three

Another Mattel recall makes three

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Scott Jagow: Toymaker Mattel has announced a third recall of toys made in China. This time, the company is pulling about 800,000 toys, most of them Barbie accessories. Also included, some toy trains and something called the 6-in-1 Bongo Band. Mattel has now recalled more than 21 million toys made in China in about the last month. Joining us now is Christopher Devereux. He runs a company that matches companies with factories in China. Christopher, can you please tell me what's going on here?

Christopher Devereux: It's a good question. I mean Mattel is a company that has 20,000 direct or indirect employees in the Pearl River delta, where all these recalls are coming from. What I don't understand is what's happened to their quality control system because they should be checking all of these products before they leave China and obviously this is not happening.

Jagow: Well how exactly does this work? What is the process for finding a factory that will produce products that are safe?

Devereux: Well first of all, the companies that actually come to China, they have to have set up their own quality control system and I just don't understand how all these products they have failed to check absolute basics. I mean this thing of lead in the paint has been around, the legislation for toys, has been around for 30 years and suddenly it's popping up now that they haven't bothered to actually check random samples throughout their product line.

Jagow: So it sounds like you're putting all the onus on the American companies here.

Devereux: I mean there are a lot of Western products that are being made in China of which the actual people on the manufacturing floor haven't got a clue how the product is used so you must have very good specifications of what you expect of the product and you must have the ability to do testing and random checks all the way through.

Jagow: So what do you think Mattel needs to do exactly? Is this just a manpower issue?

Devereux: Well they've got to overhaul their entire quality control system to find out first of all why these things happened and make sure they don't happen again.

Jagow: All right Christopher thank you for joining us.

Devereux: My pleasure.

Jagow: Christopher Devereux is managing director of ChinaSavvy.