Wal-Mart Tightens Toy Safety Standards

Retailer goes beyond government requirements
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 14, 2008 1:49 PM CDT
Toys are seen on display at a Wal-Mart in Mountain View, Calif., Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2007.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
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(Newser) – Wal-Mart is adopting stricter toy safety standards, going above and beyond existing government requirements, the Wall Street Journal reports. The standards set hard lead limits, and encourage “traceability information,” to show where toys are from. Complying could boost toymakers’ costs by 5%-7%, but since Wal-Mart is the world’s top toy seller, expect companies to fall in line.

“If Wal-Mart is coming out with standards which are tougher than the government … just by its nature everyone has to follow it,” said the CEO of the nation’s third-largest toymaker. “It makes all the other ones moot.” Wal-Mart says it’s trying to restore consumer confidence after last year’s recalls. Liability is likely another motivating factor.