Way back in September Mattel’s chief executive Robert A. Eckert said the company "will do the right thing" when it comes to lead in toys. But 56 U.S. Lawmakers recently signed a letter headed his way that reads, essentially, "Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining."
TreeHugger has been nominated for two Bloggy Awards—Best Topical Weblog and Best Group Weblog. Please vote for us now! (Hint: To find us, scroll toward the bottom of the page.)Why? Well, when Mattel promised to do the right thing they apparently meant within the exact letter of the law but certainly not the spirit of it. Failing to issue the nationwide recall of a plastic toy blood-pressure cuff sold under the Fisher-Price brand with lead levels at eight times the legal limit.
Granted, they did begin accepting them back from any retailer or customer nationwide who called a toll-free number beginning in December along with a recall in Illinois, but they did not recall the toy nationwide nor widely publicize the problem as they would have been required to do under the guidelines of an official recall.
And as Representative Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland pointed out about the lack of a nationwide effort to get the red or green blood-pressure cuffs out of the hands of kids, it reeks of hypocrisy because if Mr. Eckert "knew his child had one of these toys with this kind of lead in it, I know he would not allow his child to be having such a toy."
Perhaps the folks at Mattel could use some pointers on what it means to do the right thing.