US baby furniture supplier Simplicity Inc has announced it is recalling about one million cribs that have been linked to two infant deaths. The problem is due to the drop-side on the crib which can detach, creating a dangerous gap where a child can get trapped and suffocate.
Although the cribs were assembled in China, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission says it is a hardware and design problem. But Sally Greenberg of the Consumers Union blames China for poor quality checks: “These are not places where you can trust, for example, the Chinese inspectors. They need to have their own people there, every single day checking samples, pulling things off the lot if they do not meet US safety standards.”
The news comes in the wake of a similar scandal involving the world’s largest toy maker, Mattel Inc, which recalled some 21 million toys made in China in recent weeks. On Friday, Mattel apologised for damaging China’s reputation, admitting that the flaw was in its design not in Chinese manufacturing. Before the Mattel recall, a spate of incidents involving unsafe Chinese products ranging from toys to toothpaste prompted calls on both sides of the Atlantic for a ban on products “made in China”.