Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Christmas time again, and the push is on to buy once more at Wal-Mart. Lower prices. But what is the real cost ? Over the last year more and more news has come out about the toxic nature of various consumer products. From pet food to toothpaste to children's toys, all thought of product safety is sacrificed to the profit margin. this Christmas the average consumer is a little more wary than before, as the past months have been filled with stories of recalled toys. The following is a message from the people at Wake-Up Walmart who have been long term campaigners for workers' rights at the retail giant and against the more egregious practices that the big W engages in.
"Fourteen million. That's the number of unsafe toys involved in major recalls during the last year. These dangerous toys have caused needless deaths and serious injuries by exposing children to risks of choking, poisoning, dismemberment, burns and other hazards. What company is responsible for bringing the bulk of these unsafe products to American consumers ? Of course, it is Wal-Mart.
The corporate greed of irresponsible companies like Wal-Mart has brought an explosion of unsafe products in the marketplace. While Wal-Mart cuts costs by shipping American jobs overseas and importing over 70% of its products from China, the American consumer pays the price: deplorable product safety and poor product quality. Now, after years of manufacturers cutting corners to reduce costs, our children are literally at risk from their own cheaply-made toys.
Nothing is more unacceptable than allowing children to be put in harm's way. So today we are calling on Senator Byron Dorgan, chair of the Subcommittee on Interstate Commerce, Trade and Tourism, to begin hearings on toy safety, and the impact of huge retailers like Wal-Mart on manufacturers. though we are joined by several leading parent, consumer and environmental advocacy groups, we still need your help to ensure safer products for America's children.
Please make your voice heard in the Senate. Let both Washington and Bentonville know that the safety of our children comes before Wal-mart's bottom line.
About one in three toys bought in America is sold at Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart has long had the economic clout to improve product safety in this country by holding its suppliers to higher safety standards. instead, it forces its suppliers to cut costs and cut corners, reaping higher profits from unsafe products. Now it's time to hold Wal-Mart accountable.
Molly Note: Canadians can participate in this campaign as well as the WUWM website allows solidarity from Canada as well.

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