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A U.S. District Court Judge in Los Angeles has now ruled that a class action against Mattel, Wal-Mart and other toymakers may proceed on allegations of manufacturing and distributing toys containing lead based paint, even though the products were recalled and safer alternative toys were offered.

The San Jose Mercury reported that the class action was brought on behalf of consumers that purchased these lead contaminated toys or toys with small magnets that could be swallowed by children.

The story in the Mercury did not identify the specific toys, but if non-lead alternative toys were so readily available, one must wonder why the lead-based toys were distributed in the first place. It is suspected that the toys were manufactured off-shore, and Mattel and others have not been scrutinizing or testing these toys as they flood into our market. The mark-up for foreign made toys distributed by U.S. toymakers and sellers is probably one reason why a jaundice eye is given to these imports. Hopefully, these American companies are learning something.

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