President’s Letter -- November 9, 2010: Taking on False Accusations During “Toy Hunting Season”

As we know, November and December have come to be known as “Toy Hunting Season” … unfortunately not for the right reasons. 

Every year at this time, self-appointed consumer advocate groups try to generate publicity for their organizations by making irresponsible claims about safety hazards related to toys they have selected.  These claims are typically groundless and needlessly scare parents about the safety of toys that have been thoroughly tested and meet all of the stringent toy safety standards. 

This year the claims have been expanded by a newly created advocacy group to include a campaign against toys made with PVC.  PVC has been used safely for many decades.  Neither the U.S. federal nor state governments have ever identified PVC as a toxic substance or a chemical of concern.  Specious and unsubstantiated claims by this new group about PVC are a reprehensible attempt to create unwarranted hysteria and doubt about the safety of toys.

TIA has for many years placed itself at the front lines during toy hunting season. We position our staff at media events in order to respond to false accusations with verified facts, and we commit ourselves to setting the record straight. Any toy company that finds itself the target of one of these malevolent campaigns can call upon TIA and its resources for help.

Our industry created toy safety standards.  We work hard to be sure no child is exposed to hazards related to toys.  When unanticipated problems arise, we move quickly to make kids safe. For that, we deserve a pat on the back, not a punch in the nose.  

We do our best to act responsibly.  The consumer advocacy groups should do the same. 

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Carter Keithley
ckeithley@toyassociation.org