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ANALYSIS OF U.S. PIRG “TROUBLE IN TOYLAND” REPORTS CONFIRMS UNRELIABLE DATA
NEW YORK, NY | December 1, 2014 – As part of its ongoing efforts to provide parents and caregivers with accurate information about safe play, the Toy Industry Association (TIA) recently conducted an in-depth review of the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG) “Trouble in Toyland” reports issued from 2008 through 2013. The analysis found that U.S. PIRG’s reports were based on improper testing methods that are not approved by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the federal regulatory agency charged with toy safety oversight, and fail to support PIRG’s allegations that the identified toys (defined as objects designed, manufactured or marketed as playthings for children under 14 years of age) present any danger to children at play.
To download a copy of the complete TIA analysis of the 2008-2013 reports, please click HERE.
To assure the safety of children at play, all toys sold in the United States – no matter where they are produced – are highly regulated by the U.S. federal government and must meet more than 100 safety standard requirements. Under federal legislation passed in 2008, all toys sold at retail must be tested by a CPSC-accredited third-party testing lab to prove compliance with these tough standards.
TIA examined U.S. PIRG’s toy hazard claims and testing procedures over the last six years and found that the group’s methods were not approved by the CPSC and did not follow the same procedures that toy companies are required to follow by law. TIA’s analysis of PIRG’s allegations from 2008 through 2013 revealed the following:
- Not one of the alleged safety issues named in PIRG’s reports was based on testing conducted by a CPSC-accredited lab;
- Out of the 88 products identified in PIRG’s “Trouble in Toyland” reports over the last six years, the CPSC has not recalled any toys as a result of PIRG’s allegations;
- 20% of the products named in PIRG’s 2008-2013 reports are not classified as toys — and therefore are not governed by the same rigorous safety standards that children’s toys are required to meet.
“Toy safety is the top priority of the toy industry, and we welcome responsible individuals and organizations in joining our year-round efforts to protect children at play,” said TIA President and CEO, Carter Keithley. “Independent monitoring and analysis by outside parties can help improve toy safety standards if these activities are carried out in a responsible manner, but groups like PIRG – who consistently disseminate incorrect and misleading information about the safety of toys – are not serving the interests and well-being of children and their families. Toys that do not present any safety hazard to children, and that provide fun and developmental value, are wrongly maligned by these spurious reports, making parents unnecessarily fearful and depriving children of the joy these toys can offer.”
“The ‘Trouble in Toyland’ reports miss the opportunity to truly provide a public service in protecting kids,” said TIA Vice President of Strategic Communications, Ken Seiter. “Instead of sharing accurate and informative toy safety data with parents and caregivers, PIRG’s reports spread misinformation and confusion. Many of the items in the reports are not even toys, and therefore are not regulated by the same safety standards that toys must meet. PIRG has consistently failed to provide any reliable information in six years of reports, which raises many questions.”
TIA was a vigorous supporter of the federal consumer product safety legislation adopted in 2008 and works year-round with medical experts, consumer groups and government regulators to ensure the safety of children and maintain U.S. toy safety standards, which are among the strictest in the world. The Association educates toymakers on how to meet these standards and provides consumers with facts about toy safety, product recalls, and safe play.
TIA conducted its analysis of PIRG’s “Trouble in Toyland” reports to help consumers separate accurate information from the falsehoods that such allegations generate.
For information on toy safety, recalls, and smart tips for parents and caregivers, please visit TIA’s year-round resource for fun and safe play: www.ToyInfo.org.
About the Toy Industry Association (TIA) www.toyassociation.org
TIA is the not-for-profit trade association representing all businesses involved in creating and delivering toys and youth entertainment products for kids of all ages. TIA has a long history of leadership in toy safety; the Association helped develop the first comprehensive toy safety standard more than 30 years ago, and is committed to working with government, consumers and industry on ongoing programs to ensure safe and fun play.
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