Edwards calls for action on recalled toys

Presidential hopeful John Edwards (D) called on the White House and Congress on Wednesday to take action in the face of another recall of imported children’s toys.

In a letter to President Bush, Edwards asks the president to “take immediate action to stop the growing crisis of dangerous toys being imported from China.” The former North Carolina senator advocates mandatory, independent-party testing of toys.

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Edwards also called on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to establish a bipartisan congressional investigation into the toy recalls.

Millions of toys have already been recalled this summer over worries about toxic levels of lead paint and loose magnets, which could pose a choking hazard for young children.

Up to 80 percent of toys sold in America are made in China. On Tuesday, Mattel Inc. announced that it was recalling more than 9 million toys. The company blamed a Chinese subcontractor for using lead paint and design flaws for loose magnets, according to media reports.

Edwards also released to the press a six-point plan to strengthen protections for American consumers. Beyond independent testing, Edwards also recommends banning travel by Consumer Product Safety Commission officials paid for by industries they regulate and upping fines for safety violations, among other actions.