From: Associated Press
Published September 12, 2007 07:25 AM

Senate to Hold Toy Safety Hearing Today

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Senate takes up toy safety today, days after Mattel announced a third recall of lead-tainted toys from China. The head of Mattel will appear in front of a Senate panel, along with the CEO of Toys "R" Us and the acting chairwoman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, Nancy Nord, who says the toy industry has to be more proactive in finding out what's being used to make toys.


Meanwhile, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota has introduced legislation that would treat any lead in children's products as a banned hazardous substance. Yesterday, China agreed to prohibit the use of lead paint in toys exported to the U.S.


Appearing before a subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee today are:


- CPSC Acting Chairman Nancy Nord


- Commissioner Thomas Moore


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- Toy Industry Association President Carter Keithley


- Toys "R" Us CEO Gerald Storch


- Mattel CEO Robert Eckert


- American National Standards Institute President S. Joe Bhatia


- Sally Greenberg, Consumers Union.


Unveiled at the second joint U.S.-China summit on consumer product safety, the pact on lead paint was negotiated in the wake of the recalls of millions of playthings decorated with paint containing the toxic metal.


China has faced stiff pressure this year after an array of its exports, including toys, pet food ingredients, fish and jewelry, have been recalled over health and safety concerns.


In the pact, Beijing also pledged to step up inspections of its exports and take other steps to ensure that those products meet U.S. standards, said Nord. That will include joint efforts by the two countries to increase understanding of those standards among manufacturers and exporters.


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