September 20th, 2007 14:05 EST
Toys R Us sells 18% of our country's toys.
Toys "R" Us sells 18% of our country's toys.
That may seem like a lot, but consider this: Wal-Mart sells 30%.
So when the U.S. House and Senate decided to summon Mattel and Toys "R" Us to committee hearings on the recent toxic toy recalls, we wondered: Why not Wal-Mart too?
After all, as the world's largest retailer, Wal-Mart sets the standards for product safety -- and those standards are putting our children at risk.
Over the past week, thousands of Wal-Mart Watch supporters in targeted districts across the country have asked their senators and representatives in Washington that very question. We've been putting the pressure on Wal-Mart and holding them accountable for their role in the recent toy safety problems.
Now it's your turn.
Let your friends and neighbors know the important part that Wal-Mart plays in the safety of our children's toys. Write a letter to your local newspaper now:
From toxic toys to tainted pet treats, Wal-Mart customers are concerned about the safety of the stores' products. To ease those concerns, Wal-Mart released a five-point plan for "more checking, more testing, more dialogue, more help for China, and more selection."
This all looks nice on paper, but there are some big problems with the company's plan.
First off, the plan is weak, vague, and, most important, voluntary. And even worse, the plan only applies to new toys that haven't been made yet.
That means that all of the toys in their warehouses and shipping docks -- all of this year's Christmas toys -- won't be subject to the "tough" new inspection guidelines.
While other manufacturers and retailers set aggressive standards for product safety, Wal-Mart sets aggressive standards for public relations. It would rather bully its suppliers for dirt cheap products than ensure that its products won't harm our children.
Let your friends and family know about Wal-Mart's real priorities by writing a letter to your local newspaper:
The good news is people are already starting to point to Wal-Mart. On Friday, the Associated Press wrote:
Shoppers have become accustomed to cheap playthings from China because Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and other discounters have waged cost-cutting campaigns. Critics say real safeguards were sacrificed to keep prices low, however.
"I will pay more (for toys) because I know it will ensure safety," said Lisa Sallese, a Wilton, Conn., mother of a 7-month-old boy and a 2-year-old daughter. "But it stinks. It should have been safe to begin with."
Wal-Mart Watch members are saying the same thing. As Sandy from Latrobe, Pennsylvania told us:
I used to love Walmart! Now, everything at Walmart is junk or toxic! Is this what Sam Walton would have wanted?
Sandy's not the only Wal-Mart Watch member who feels betrayed by Wal-Mart. Let your hometown know that you feel betrayed too.
Paid for by WalmartWatch.com, a campaign of Five Stones and The Center for Community and Corporate Ethics
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