By Talal Malik and Reuters
Toys 'R' Us says none of its GCC stores carry any of the bibs affected by its worldwide recall last week.
Toys ‘R’ Us said today customers in the Gulf are not affected by the US toy retailer's global recall of all Hamco China-made vinyl baby bibs.
The toys were pulled from shelves as a precaution after an independent tester found samples of bibs containing excessive amounts of lead. Reports put the number of bibs recalled worldwide at around a million.
“We do not and did not carry any of the recalled bibs in any of our GCC stores,” Deviram Anadol, the buying and logistics manager for Toys ‘R’ Us in the GCC told ArabianBusiness.com.
Toys ‘R’ Us are represented in the GCC by the Al-Futtaim Group.
The toy retailer said in a statement on Friday that the bibs were marketed under the 'Koala Baby', 'Especially for Baby' and 'Disney Baby' labels. Media reports earlier in the week said the inexpensive bibs were made in China and imported for Toys “R” Us by Hamco Baby Products.
Toys ‘R’ Us also said it had asked for re-tests on samples of all Hamco-made bibs and that it decided to recall the bibs due to inconsistencies in results on bibs tested in May and August.
The company said it had recently intensified its third party re-testing of products on its shelves.
Earlier this week, the Center for Environmental Health (CEH) in California said it had found high levels of lead in vinyl bibs purchased from Toys ‘R’ Us and Babies ‘R’ Us stores, including a bib with Disney's Winnie the Pooh characters.
After the recall, the CEH said in a statement: “We appreciate Toys ‘R’ Us taking this strong action to protect children. Vinyl is a poison plastic that has no place around a baby's neck. We hope the company disposes of the toxic bibs safely.”
Hamco said in a statement late on Friday that it had applied the testing standards requiring companies by US law to issue warnings before exposing people to “known carcinogens or reproductive toxins”. It also said the US Consumer Product Safety Commission had tested a range of its bibs in the spring and found that none posed a risk to children.
The recall is the latest in a spate of safety scares involving toys made in China.
Last Tuesday US toymaker Mattel recalled over 18 millions of toys made in China due to dangerous magnets and lead paint contained in the products. It was the company's second recall in a month of made-in-China toys.