"GoodGuide" Retracts Toxicity Allegations Aimed at Zhu Zhu Pets™

Hello everyone!

As if Monday wasn't bad enough to start with, I was greeted by news-coverage of the Zhu Zhu Pets™ toxicity allegations as soon as my daughter flipped on the TV this morning. To be fair, I will say that CBS did a good job of reporting on both sides of the story, and did end with the statement that the toys are safe to play with.

And as I listened to our local noon newscast, the debacle was also mentioned. Cepia LLC had even gone so far as to post their testing reports on their website's homepage . To me, this exemplified their confidence in their product.

I have been waiting to hear the Consumer Product Safety Commission's (CPSC) official verdict of the issue, which showed up on MSNBC.com about 2 hours ago. “ 'CPSC confirmed today that the popular Zhu Zhu toy is not out of compliance with the antimony or other heavy metal limits of the new U.S. mandatory toy standard,' agency spokesman Scott Wolfson said.". I highly recommend that you read the Associated Press article, in its entirety, at this link.

GoodGuide has also issued an official correction to its misleading statement:

"SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - December 7, 2009) - In a press release we issued on Saturday, December 5th, we published the results of our testing of chemical levels in toys and stated that certain toys we tested had antimony and chromium levels that exceed federal standards. Since issuing our release, we have learned that the testing methodology used in the federal standards (a soluble method) is different than the methodology we used in our testing (a surface-based method). Accordingly, while we accurately reported the chemical levels in the toys that we measured using our testing method, we should not have compared our results to federal standards. We regret this error.
Suzanne Skyvara"

WHAT?! They just learned that their testing methodology is not in compliance with what the CPSC and industry testing leaders recognize as accurate testing methods. Seriously? If you are going to attempt to make a name for yourself in the arena of consumer safety testing, wouldn't you think the #1 item on your to-do list would be to KNOW the recognized industry testing equipment and methods? To exemplify this, let me give you one more exerpt from the AP article from MSNBC.com:

"[The] claims fell apart Monday, when GoodGuide said the way it got its test results — using a special gun that shoots X-rays into a toy and gives a reading for how much lead, antimony or other substances are in the material — is not recognized by the CPSC for judging whether a toy is hazardous."

I am sorry if I seem more than a little irritated with the allegations, because I am. This bad publicity has spread like wildfire over the airwaves and internet within the last 24 hours. I have received emails and phone calls from concerned friends, "warning" me about my beloved Zhu Zhu Pets™ because of what they saw on the news. I just hope the airwaves are just as clogged tomorrow with news of GoodGuides retraction statement and Zhu Zhu Pets™ vindication. Twitter is already buzzing, so that is a good sign ☺

There is always a silver lining to that dark, nasty cloud: even with serious allegations lodged against their product during the busiest toy-shopping-season of the year, I really think Cepia did a great job of informing the public (via the email newsletter and the website homepage) and proactively releasing its toxicity reports, giving statements to the media, and working with the CPSC to clear its good name.

I promise, I will find happier things to talk about tomorrow! Good night everyone!


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