Toxic toys and textiles on the decrease in EU stores

May 12, 2011

Thanks to efforts from China and improved EU policing, fewer toxic toys and skin-irritating textiles are making it onto Europe's supermarket shelves, the European Union executive said Thursday.

The number of unsafe products banned, withdrawn or recalled from consumers last year, rose 13 percent to 2,244 products against the previous year, the European Commission announced.

Chinese goods accounted for 58 percent of those products, down from 60 percent of unsafe products in 2009.

"The attaches great importance to ," said Beijing's Minister Zhi Shuping of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and (AQSIQ).

"We will strive to improve the quality and safety of Chinese products."

"We need to be responsible to people around the world," he told a news conference held with Europe's health and consumer commissioner John Dalli.

International partnerships as well as dialogue on the factory floor was a key to further reducing goods posing serious risks to Europeans, Dalli said.

Removing life-threatening products from the EU market is achieved under a 2004 rapid alert system known as RAPEX enabling information on dangerous goods to circulate swiftly across the 27-nation bloc.

Last year the countries most active in spotting unsafe goods were Germany, with 204 notifications, Bulgaria with 192 and Hungary with 191.

The most frequently notified products were clothing and textiles (32 percent), toys (25 percent) and motor vehicles (nine percent).

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