Wal-Mart Statement Regarding Elevated Levels Of Lead, Toxins Found In Pet Toys

A public relations spokesperson for Wal-Mart online affairs sent Itchmo an email stating that the ConsumerAffairs.com report is seriously flawed regarding elevated levels of lead and toxin being found in Wal-Mart pet toys. He said they are overstating their findings by a factor of 1,000 because Expertox’s lab results were measured in “parts per billion” and not “parts per million”. He released this statement from Melissa O’Brien, spokeswoman for Wal-Mart:

After receiving test reports on Monday from the Web site representative, Wal-Mart began an immediate review and obtained samples for testing. Very quickly, we discovered that there was an error in their reports, incorrectly stating the levels were ‘parts per million,’ when in fact they were measured in ‘parts per billion.’ We contacted the writer and editor to share the error that the forensic toxicologist (not an expert in product testing) had made, and to share that the test reports actually showed levels of lead and chromium were very safe — in fact, more than 100 percent below CPSC and ASTM standards. Since the story claimed the levels were ‘toxic,’ ‘dangerous’ and ‘high,’ we asked for a retraction. At this time, they have refused to retract the story, even after the true details of the test were presented, and others have verified the tests show the products are indeed very safe. This clearly shows a lack of responsibility from this web site to the public.

There is a great deal of consumer concern today regarding product safety issues and we all share in the responsibility of ensuring the public is correctly informed. Wal-Mart takes product safety very seriously and we are stepping up our own efforts in testing toys and working with suppliers and officials to ensure high safety standards are met. We are disappointed in the actions of this group, which would rather hastily create fear and false hype than report a story based on facts and truth.

42 Responses to “Wal-Mart Statement Regarding Elevated Levels Of Lead, Toxins Found In Pet Toys”

  1. Bridgett says:

    Wal-Mart, show us the report. Show us where where the inaccuracies have happened. Frankly, I believe the forensic toxicologist. Not a product tester recieving a paycheck from you.

  2. menusux says:

    W-M’s credibility is a joke. It was WAL-MART who found traces of melamine after testing the Pingyang Pet Products/Shanghai Bestro chicken jerky items and simply removed them from shelves WITHOUT issuing a formal recall through FDA.

    That’s some seriousness about product safety–to just refrain from selling them but not care at all about those who’d purchased them from W-M or other stores selling the brand. Issuing a formal recall would have taken care of this.

    Wal-Mart should work on ITS serious credibility flaws before trying to destroy the credibility of others.

  3. Mrs. P. says:

    WalMart, spend your time and money improving your products. Read this article, since the shills are here.
    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/f.....gewanted=1
    It’s an older (2003) NY Times article mentioning a New England Journal of Medicine report stating that low levels of lead are risky for children. I suppose old WallyWorld is going to bash Cornell University, Harvard Medical School, Boston Children’s Hospital, etc. as lacking expertise in product safety. Keep shooting yourself in the foot, WalMart. I can not tell you how stupid you look now.

  4. highnote says:

    Billions or millions! There should not be anything in the product that could cause any harm at all to pet! Wal Mart you are just making the consumer dislike you more!

  5. menusux says:

    http://www.expertox.com/

    ExperTox Certifications/Accreditations

    http://www.cap.org/apps/cap.portal

    College of American Pathologists CAP-Laboratory Accreditation Program

    http://www.hhs.gov/

    Department of Heallth & Human Services-HHS-Clinical Lab Improvement Act

    http://www.dea.gov/

    FDEA–Federal Drug Enforcement Agency

    http://www.datia.org/

    Drug & Alcohol Testing Industry Association

    Above are the certifications and accreditations of ExperTox–you note there are two federal agencies–HHS–Health & Human Services and DEA–Drug Enforcement Agency–among them.

    These people have a wonderful reputation which they’ve earned through hard work and dilligence; they are not about to risk that with false reports and statements.

    Others whose name I will not mention but infer have a much less than wonderful reputation with various product recalls–formal and informal–to match.

  6. Kevin says:

    “Wal-Mart takes product safety very seriously and we are stepping up our own efforts in testing toys and working with suppliers and officials to ensure high safety standards are met.”

    I have a real hard time believing this statement made by Walmart. They worship the American Dollar too much. Walmart is un-American and are traitors to this country!

  7. Concha Castaneda says:

    Until they come clean and formally recall their poisoned pet food, I don’t have to trust them! Just because the pet toys from China have a minute amount of lead in it today, doesn’t mean that tomorrow higher lead levels won’t be present. Can’t trust Walmart, or any products from China at this time. They shouldn’t have any lead in their toys for pets, or kids. None! Have they tested for lead in their baby pacifiers yet? Or is someones child gonna have to suffer and perhaps die before they become proactive on this? We must be making a dent in their stock for them to come here and accuse those who have been the victims of being hysterical. We don’t want your junk from China even if you give it away for free. It is sad that you won’t test a product until someone else has to test it and find lead in it. A millionth or a billionth is too much.

  8. nora says:

    When your earlier report said Walmarts attorneys were filing lawsuits, my gut reaction was “Itchmo will be their next target”

  9. Geff says:

    Welcome back to Orwell’s 1984, corporate & government America’s textbook for doing business.

  10. Anonymous says:

    parts per million - parts per billion…..tomato - potato. Three little words would have prevented me from buying these regardless of any test or what store carried them… “Made in China”

  11. menusux says:

    http://www.cpsc.gov/CPSCPUB/PR.....07015.html

    Wal-Mart Recalls Minnie Mouse Cardigan Sets Due to Strangulation Hazard October 25, 2006

    Units: About 14,000

    Distributor: Wal-Mart Stores Inc., of Bentonville, Ark.

    Hazard: If the cardigan is buttoned, the ribbon woven around the neckline poses a strangulation hazard for children.

    Manufactured in: China

    ——————————————

    http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pr.....07058.html

    Wal-Mart Recalls Stuffed Christmas Beagles Due to Choking Hazard December 14, 2006
    Units: About 56,000
    Importer: Wal-Mart Stores Inc., of Bentonville, Ark.

    Hazard: The red pompoms on the wreath attached to the beagle’s mouth could detach, posing a choking hazard to young children.

    Manufactured in: China

    ————————————–

    http://www.iht.com/articles/20.....s/bibs.php

    Wal-Mart recalls lead-laced baby bibs from China May 3, 2007

    Wal-Mart has pulled sets of baby bibs from its stores nationwide after the bibs tested positive for high levels of lead, a store official said.

    The bibs, sold under the Baby Connection brand name, came in packs of two to seven bibs, with embroidered prints or images of Sesame Street characters. Some were sold as long ago as 2004. The bibs were made by Hamco exclusively for the retailer.

    Mia Masten, a Chicago-based spokeswoman for Wal-Mart, said Wednesday that the vinyl portion of the bibs exceeded the lead levels set by Illinois for children’s products. She said the company had worked with the Illinois attorney general’s office to pull the items and LATER DECIDED TO EXPAND THE RECALL NATIONWIDE.

    Lead, used as a stabilizer in vinyl plastic, can be “easily substituted” for other products, Engelman said. She said the bibs’ manufacturing tags show they were made in China.

    ————————————

    http://www.wkyt.com/home/headlines/9735302.html

    Recall: Walmart Recalls Chinese Made Flip Flops September 12, 2007

    Wal-mart stores across the country are pulling flip-flops made in china after customers complained of rashes or burns developed on their feet.

    A Texas woman says her feet started showing signs of a rash about three weeks after she started wearing the sandals in July.

    As the scarring worsened into the exact pattern of the flip flop straps, she filed a complaint with Wal-mart.

    Wal-mart says it will now do more testing on the flip flops.

    ————————————-
    And we haven’t even gotten into the branded melamine-laced pet food and treats or this pet toy issue yet…..

  12. Ruth says:

    “to share that the test reports actually showed levels of lead and chromium were very safe ”

    Since when are any levels of lead or chromium safe? I would think if a pet continuously keeps chewing on a toy if it would build the levels of toxins over time to cause damage to a pet.

    They should be concerned that no level is safe and there shouldn’t be ANY lead in their toys. But instead they are best at their spin and making themselves look more …….. (fill in the blank your self).

  13. pat says:

    i checked the original articles about this on both itchmo and consumeraffairs and lead levels are in fact correctly reported. how those numbers are interpreted are something else again. the articles give the opposing points of view and it’s up to the reader to decide which viewpoint they are most comfortable with.

    it’s true that the government allowable limit for paint on items that come in contact with infants is 600 ppm. whether that level really is safe is another matter. the epa sets the standard for drinking water at 15 *ppb*, and would like very much for the allowable number to be zero. the question then becomes how much exposure to a particular substance is expected. people (and animals) are constantly exposed to water… they drink it and bathe in it. it is presumed that something like a toy does not duplicate that level of exposure but whether the allowable level they’re using is really safe or not is definitely debatable.

    at any rate. compared to the levels found in some toys manufactured for children (110,000 ppm), you’re better off letting your kids play with the dog toys than their own. and definitely keep fido away from barbie!

  14. Carol says:

    “This clearly shows a lack of responsibility from this web site to the public.”

    Sort of like keeping Special Kitty on the shelves 3 days after recall announced (my personal information-I went to see).–yet I was told this was maybe because the stoe did not get the nfo—-blah-blah-blah–but not lack of responsibility on the store’s part????NOOOOOOOO……..

  15. Carol says:

    sorry for above typos, I was kinda intense when I was typing!

  16. straybaby says:

    pat says:
    September 19th, 2007 at 3:35 pm

    i find it interesting that they are picking on consumer affairs. they should be in full throttle safety mode after those lead values came out last night. 180 times the legal limit?! WTF?!

    don’t forget about the cadmium factor in the equation on the pet toys! guess i should be happy my youngest most active kitty likes my dirty laundry over store bought toys . . .

  17. Amanda says:

    I will probably get bashed for this. Understand my family are not walmart defenders or anything but my dad has been a chemist for 20+ years. He looked at the initial report and said it is making a mountain out of a mole hill. The numbers are so small it won’t do any harm. He said infact that one of the things found in the toys, I think it was Chromium (he’s not home to ask) that you need very small levels of everyday otherwise without it can lead to diabetes.

    I tend to trust my dad more than I do Walmart or other lab reports because with the way they do research today, its very crappy science. He said the reason we are even able to find these amounts of lead etc in products is because of the advancement in science where we are able to measure more and more smaller amounts of things. We have no idea what the reports would have been like 20 years ago. It could be that these leads and other things will always be there no matter what you try to do.

    Who is to say that the media and this lab aren’t doing this to scare the public?? The more the public is scared about products the more products and money the lab gets sent in. Let us not forget that research and media are into fear mongering today, it is what keeps them in business.

  18. straybaby says:

    “We have no idea what the reports would have been like 20 years ago. It could be that these leads and other things will always be there no matter what you try to do.”

    we have legal limits as to what’s allowed. it’s an issue when they don’t fall within the guide lines, as it should be.

    i personally would not want my pets continuously chewing on items above the legal limit, nor a toddler either. also, if all your products start being over the limit in your home, wouldn’t you sort of max out on exposure? i feel the same way about my food knowing if i’m not careful i could end up with a steak the has carbon monoxide, GE corn and an E Coli salad. and don’t forget all the hormones and antibiotics that they legally serve you up also. our homes are becoming toxic wastelands, so the least they could do is keep everything with in the guidelines! ;)

  19. straybaby says:

    forgot, that meal would be severed up on a plate made in china! ;)

  20. menusux says:

    Amanda says:

    September 19th, 2007 at 4:23 pm

    “Who is to say that the media and this lab aren’t doing this to scare the public?? The more the public is scared about products the more products and money the lab gets sent in. Let us not forget that research and media are into fear mongering today, it is what keeps them in business.”

    ExperTox, or any lab, needs to maintain its reputation for accuracy. Without that, it’s out of business.

    W-M needs to keep people coming into their stores, buying their products and spending their $. Without that, it’s out of business.

    The other side of the question is whether W-M is engaged in damage control to keep those US $ rolling into their registers.

  21. Concha Castaneda says:

    He probably wouldn’t say we were making” a mountain out of a molehill” if he had lost a pet or two.

  22. Ruth says:

    Amanda:”I tend to trust my dad more than I do Walmart or other lab reports because with the way they do research today, its very crappy science. He said the reason we are even able to find these amounts of lead etc in products is because of the advancement in science where we are able to measure more and more smaller amounts of things. We have no idea what the reports would have been like 20 years ago.”

    Sorry, I don’t understand your statement of how research done today is very crappy science. And then you go on to say because of the advancement of science labs are able to find smaller amounts of lead due to the way they measure samples. I really didn’t know that any advancement in science is crappy.

    (IMO) I would rather find out what levels that are found today than say 20 years ago. We already live in a toxic society and personally I don’t want to eat or breathe any more crap that we are already exposed to.

    How many pets have you lost due to toxic pet food? I have a precious dead pet buried in my backyard.

    ExperTox is one of the few labs that does testing for the public. As this point in time, they are probably tired of having to defend their testing methods and results. If big companies were honest, people wouldn’t have to do testing on their own. It wasn’t the lab who started all this mess, it was the big blood sucking corporate mongers.

  23. Pukanuba says:

    I said it before & I’ll say it again…….HOW ABOUT NO PARTS PER MILLION OR BILLION……how about safe toys/food/treats/clothing…….how about screwing the crap made in China & going back to proudly displaying the made in the USA label?

    I personally think quibbling over safe levels is foolishness……I don’t want any of this contaminated garbage in my home. I want my dog to live a good life free of all these toxins, not within “safe limits”. Bullsh** to that. Would be nice if I could also eat food & have confidence that I’m not poisoning myself.

    Wally’s sales are down……gee, I wonder why. No wonder they’re engaged in damage control & threats…..what a bunch of jerks. Perhaps if they had some safe products in their store, their sales would go up……duh! I’m hoping as long as they continue to rely on products from China, people will stop buying there. Christmas is coming up. How nice if none of their toys sell.

  24. Trudy Jackson says:

    I don’t want ANY toxin in My familys food or My pets food. None!

  25. Trudy Jackson says:

    All the Xmas’ things I have bought at Wal Mart over the last few years. I have bought so much Mattell, fisher Price, Hot wheels, Etc, for the grandbabies. and all the things for My girls, then all the toys every year for the pets. I bought that darn Geo Trax , pieces every BD, and Xmas. Cost a small futune. All the Barbie things. and I am just one person. i won’t be buying them this year. So if everyone feels like Me, Wal Mart should loose out big time this Xmas. China too, I hope.

  26. Katie says:

    Expertox:

    CAP accreditation is not easy to get. Why doesn’t W-M post it’s lab results on paper?? Wal-Mart thinks they can make numbers mean anything they want.

    Meanwhile the EPA,FDA,etc.,etc. keep changing what is allowed in the way of contaminants to support the businesses. Everything falls under the “dilution factor”.

    Katie

  27. Sindy says:

    Hey Wal-Mart, since you are here, please check this pet toy I have for contaminants.
    “Cat Play Toys” Bar Code 8 40242 00002 0. Imported by Wal-Mart Canada, made in CHINA.
    Don’t know what they are by that very descriptive label? They are 20 perforated plastic balls with bells in them.
    Why does the warning say “This product is intended for pets only. Keep out of children’s reach. Pets should be supervised while using the items.”
    Is it really out of an abundance of caution for their safety or is it something else? I will put them away and test them for lead with a lead test stick, not my pet.
    Wal-Mart is hopping mad now, hey, join the club, it’s getting crowded here.

  28. Jenny Bark says:

    Ok Wal-Mart, you want us to trust you & you care so much for us & our health, let us make a deal. Trust has to be earned, don’t you agree? How about a small step to start out with?

    Let us go to every Wal-Mart in America & outside too with our lead & other toxic swabs and test whatever we want. Let us send out some meat, fish, seafood, chicken, sausage, fruit & some things marked organic and send out to a lab of our choice. Now that would be a first step in trusting you.

    I think you should pay for it but I know you won’t. I think we might get some on Congress to help us because we have been taught over & over again we can’t depend on the FDA or USDA. Maybe the unions & people running for President could help us pay for this.

    We can get enough people. Everbody doesn’t post, but their are lots of people all over the U.S. & the world that read the net. I think all the Mom & Pop stores you did away with would help too.

    We are going to be talking about our sick & dead pets, our toxic food, our kids toys, our kids clothes & long term effects for imho at least 20 years.

    HOW ABOUT IT WAL-MART WANT TO TAKE THIS FIRST STEP TO EARNING OUR TRUST, AFTER ALL YOU CARE ABOUT US? We can get an army of people together real fast, all we need is your ok.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Trudy, I would never encourage anyone to discontinue medicine they need and that wasn’t my intent with posting that article. I myself take prescription meds. But I do think that I may avoid generics.

  30. Trudy Jackson says:

    Good for you Jenny Bark. i’ll buy the first lead stick tests.

  31. Trudy Jackson says:

    Anonymous, i know You didn’t do anything like encourage Me. But I do take Generics. What are We to do?????

  32. shibadiva says:

    Jenny, what if everyone just stopped shopping at WM?

  33. Jenny Bark says:

    Shibadiva, I have already stopped shopping at Wal-Mart, & I hope everybody else does too. I just get mad when they say they care about us and I think they should prove it.

  34. Trudy Jackson says:

    I have tons of cats. and I do have a favorite [don’t tell anyone] . But I am always bring him [Jessie James] home the sparkle balls from the cat shows. He now looks for them, they are his favorite fetch toy. I know they are made in China. this pisses Me off so much I want to scream. He’s probably loaded with lead.

  35. Jenny Bark says:

    Trudy Jackson. do you have to buy your rx’s at Wal-Mart. I get mine at Giant Eagle. Don’t know about the costs thou, but I bet others on here do.

  36. Trudy Jackson says:

    Stocks are way down at Wally world, so i think some people are getting “it”.

  37. Trudy Jackson says:

    Jenny Bark, I will call around tomorrow and see who else will take our insurance. thanks to all.

  38. Jenny Bark says:

    Trudy, good luck, let us know how it goes.

  39. Rocky says:

    Wal-Mart,

    Just send copies of the lab reports to ITCHMO, and we’ll figure it out for ourselves.

  40. Anonymous says:

    Walmart and the ORGANIC label…

    Article summary:
    Selling organics strategy: wants to tap into the affluent shoppers & wants to lower the price of organics (selling 10% above price of conventional food items) to put the small organic farmers out of business just as they did the manufacturing sector of our country.

    http://www.greenmarketing.com/.....at%20is%20‘Organic’.pdf

    I used to buy Horizon organic milk (not at Walmart), and now that I know that Walmart partners with them (Dean), I’ll switch brands immediately!

    Somehow, I see the definition of organic being altered… and “organic” and “China” in the same sentence??? Never!!

    Hoping for a holiday sales slump for Walmart.

  41. Dee says:

    HELLO!!!
    WE HAVE A PROBLEM WITH CHINA!!!
    Am I the only one that sees this?

  42. United Health Care says:

    United Health Care

    I couldn’t understand some parts of this article, but it sounds interesting


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