The Chinese government has announced that the head of the Guangdong province toy company, identified as the source of nearly a million recalled toys, has committed suicide:
Zhang Shuhong, who ran the Lee Der Industrial Co. Ltd, killed himself at a warehouse over the weekend, days after China said it had temporarily banned exports by the company, the Southern Metropolis Daily said.
Lee Der made 967,000 toys recalled earlier this month by Mattel Inc. because they were made with paint found to have excessive amounts of lead. The plastic preschool toys, sold under the Fisher-Price brand in the U.S., included the popular Big Bird, Elmo, Dora and Diego characters
The suicide comes less than a week after Mattel's announcement identifying Lee Der Industrial, in Guangdong province, as the manufacturer of the toys, which were sold under the Fisher-Price brand in the United States between May and August. Link.
As reported in these earlier posts, this is the latest episode in the ongoing Chinese export/consequences of globalization scandal:
One interesting difference in this story from the pet food recall debacle where Menu Foods waited until many more pets had died before they reported their suspicions: It seems that Mattel reported the lead paint in the imported toys more quickely and issued an apology to their customers. That's the good news. The bad? With less than a one percent inspection U.S. government inspection rate of imported goods, it begs the question what else may be getting through that has not been reported by companies as forthcoming as Mattel?
Here's the link to the CBS/AP story.