Toy company that made beads coated with date-rape drug loses lawsuit


#1

[Read the post]


#2

a coating that dissolves into GHB

Dissolves? The 1,4-butanediol in Aqua Dots is metabolized into GHB by a combination of enzymes in the body.


#3

Following the links in the article eventually takes you to Wikipedia, where you find:

The toy was supposed to contain the non-toxic chemical 1,5-pentanediol (a viscous oily liquid used as plasticiser), but instead contained 1,4-butanediol, which is metabolised into the drug gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB)
At the time the substitution was discovered, the non-toxic ingredient was three to seven times more expensive than the chemical used.

And there’s your motive.


#4

Nothing to see here – just the marketplace efficiency.
I suppose that the family thinks that their interests should supersede those of the manufacturer…


#5

I have no tolerance for Ayn Rand, but is there something to suggest she didn’t believe in tort litigation? Tort litigation – like the enforceability of contracts – is part and parcel of even that cul-de-sac of thought.


#6

I was just going to ask that.

Crazy. But how would the company know? If your outsourcer can go nuts and use polonium, are you supposed to test for radiation, just in case? At some point you have to trust people, no?


#7

And pay the price for trusting the wrong ones.


#8

Having worked with Spin Master Toys, it doesn’t surprise me one tiny bit that they have no oversight over the lowest-bidder overseas manufacturers they use to produce their bargain-bin junk.


#9

You know, these beads sound useful, and I am not a toddler. Does anybody know where I can purchase them?


#10

Ewwwwwww. Must you?


#11

Ooooo, nice, I like it.


#12

A quick scan would suggest so-

“In the case of (culpable) tort or contract violations, one party incurs a culpably delinquent debt to another, and does so by initiated force. The breached party suffers a grievance that requires legal rectification, and legal action on Rand’s view is either undertaken by government or at least supervised by it.”

Blah blah Statist collectivism!


#13

The writers of Elementary thought of that already, actually.


#14

You have to certify that your suppliers will supply what you ask them to and meet the specifications. Which means testing and audits. The most mercenary reason for this is you will likely be sued and liable for the damage done when the supplier doesn’t, just like in this case where the Chinese company was apparently unable to be sued. The best reason is that it is ethical and moral to make safe products that don’t kill people when they misuse them accidentally.

I am sure this product was not meant fro children younger than three years old if it had small swallowable parts, but what should have happened is that the kid pooped out the beads at the end. The tragedy is that the beads were poisonous.


#15

On the other hand, the Chinese government has been known to take this sort of thing fairly seriously.


#16

Obviously, this is the packaging that would have benefited most from ‘Brutal Anal Sex’ labeling.


#17

Sure, but how can you test for some things? This kind of vendor could deliver some perfect batches just to pass your QA. And I wonder if random tests could test for every workaround possible.

Anyway, the scary thing is that I doubt most of the importers test the crap they buy from China… The lawsuit could change that, though.


#18

One of my favorites:
California’s ‘Healthy Lunchbox’ Promotion Backfires

It wasn't long ago that California public health officials distributed 350,000 Chinese-made canvas lunchboxes to promote healthy eating by school children.

Now the state is asking parents to discard the lunchboxes after tests found “significant” levels of lead in some of the canvas bags. The lead was found in only three of the bags tested but officials said they didn’t want to take any chances.


#19

Even if she did, it would be as a substitute for laws preventing this kind of horrific outcome. Why bother stopping toy companies from using this chemical when the marketplace will correct itself after a few dozen dead kids hurt their bottom line?


#20

You only have to test to the level you feel is appropriate to reduce the risk that you have sold a product that is dangerous to a level you feel is appropriate.

If you deal with ethical, reliable companies with a good reputation that helps, but when you sell the product your reputation is on the line and you incur the risk. That is why you should do cradle to grave product stewardship analysis. Unfortunately, this example is totally going into my example folder.