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Tue 21 Aug 2007 12:26 AM

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Qatar to lab test Chinese toys

Authorities say they are preparing a laboratory to test toys made in China for toxic chemicals.

Qatar’s General Organisation of Standards and Metrology has called for talks regarding precautionary measures against Chinese toys containing toxic chemicals, The Peninsula reports.

According to the report director-general of the organisation Dr Mohammed bin Saif Al Kuwari told an Arabic daily “We are now preparing a laboratory to test children’s toys. But this is not an indication that we are definitely going to ban any toys.”

Toys ‘R’ Us said yesterday Gulf customers were not affected by a global recall of Hamco baby bibs made in China. The move came after an independent tester had found samples contained excessive amounts of lead.

US toymaker Mattel recalled over 18 million of toys made in China last week because of dangerous magnets and lead paint contained in the products. It was the company’s second recall in a month of made-in-China toys.

Al Kuwari said an emergency meeting had been called with Municipal Affairs, National Health and Customs officals to discuss precautionary measures as well as co-ordination with other GCC states on the issue.

Regarding a possible ban on toys, he said "First we have to take samples and carry out testing. After that, we will get the evidence on whether the toys should be banned or not. We also have the right to get safety certificates from the importers."

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