56 Members of Congress want to know why Mattel CEO Robert Eckert refuses to issue a nationwide recall for a toy blood-pressure cuff that is contaminated with lead. The affected blood-pressure cuff, sold as part of the Fisher-Price Medical Kit, was recalled exclusively in Illinois after Mattel received a complaint from State Attorney General Lisa Madigan. Legislators want Eckert to stand by a pledge made to reassure a jittery public before the holiday buying season that Mattel would ‘earn back our trust with deeds, not just with words.’
We encourage you to review your pledge and act accordingly by recalling the red blood pressure cuff. Furthermore, we challenge you to live up to your words and set a standard for the entire industry by completely eliminating the use of lead in all of the children’s products manufactured by Mattel. When parents purchase a product from your company, they are not just purchasing a toy–they are putting their trust in an established brand that has historically been believed to provide merchandise that is safe for their children. We urge you to live up to this reputation.
The CPSC is “investigating the product,” but has yet to issue a nationwide recall.
Representative Elijah E. Cummings, Democrat of Maryland, wrote Mr. Eckert in December asking it to stop using lead in its products. He said that Mattel’s reply, which arrived last week, and its action on the toy were inadequate and that the company should issue a nationwide recall.
Mr. Cummings said in an interview that 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.”
We’re with Eckert. Let’s move past trite words and focus on actions. Mattel could rustle up some needed sympathy with a new toy: My ‘Lil CEO. He could wear a power suit and come with an accessory set: an executive desk on which to churn out meaningless promises, a companion PR professional to help think up slick-sounding lies that deceive Congress and parents, and maybe a token sick child (complete with hospital gown!) to cry over. The whole set could be made in China and would come covered with tasty small magnets. Ages 5 and under!
Lawmakers Say Mattel Broke Word on Lead [NYT]
Cummings, DeLauro to Mattel: ‘Stop Selling Toxic Toys’ [Congressman Elijah Cummings]
PREVIOUSLY: Consumer Reports Finds “Troubling” Levels Of Lead In Unrecalled Fisher-Price Toy
Fisher-Price Pulls Lead Tainted Toy In Illinois Only
Fisher-Price Pulls Another Lead-Tainted Product In Illinois Only
(Photo: Getty Images)