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U.S. Joins Talks on Universal System for Child Product Labels

by The Kid's Doctor Staff

The United States is in talks with international counterparts on an universal labeling system to trace the origins of imported goods for children. A global standard would help make children’s products safer, the U.S.’s product safety chief said.

“Preliminary discussions were underway about a universal label tracking system,” said Inez Moore Tenenbaum, chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Setting a global standard would help cut the cost of tracking suppliers for toy retailers, as each country now has its own labelling rules. Tenenbaum said that the number of toy product recalls in the United States had dropped this year, as the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act 2008 is being phased in.

Under the Act, toy makers are required to comply with U.S. label tracking rules, and to have certain products tested and certified in accredited laboratories starting from mid-August. The law was passed by Congress after millions of Chinese goods were recalled globally in 2007 amid fears that they contained toxic lead paints or had dangerous design flaws.

There were only 20 cases of toy recalls in the US so far this year, compared to 65 cases for the whole of 2008, she said.

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