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 â€˜parts per million,â€™ when in fact they were measured in â€˜parts per billion.â€™ 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 â€˜toxic,â€™ â€˜dangerousâ€™ and â€˜high,â€™ 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.