“We knew about the situation”

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An official from the China Toy Association told Reuters that the group knew about the problems with magnets in toys as far back as March, but could offer no explanation for why nothing was done about it. Before that quote came out it appeared that the blame for the toys with magnets was squarely on the shoulders of Mattel and U.S. regulators. Unlike toys tainted with lead paint, where much of the responsibility lies with Chinese toymakers and/or their suppliers ignoring safety requirements, those making the magnetized toys were merely producing what they were contracted to make. (Magnets, if swallowed by children, can cause internal injuries when they become attracted to each other.) Now it appears that at an official level in China there was knowledge of a problem a while ago. Of course, some U.S. toy companies were issuing recalls for magnetized toys that injured children as far back as last year, which raises questions about why this problem wasn’t found sooner. So it seems that there’s responsibility here on both sides of the Pacific.