Archive for Friday, June 4, 2010

McDonald’s pulls 12M cadmium-tainted Shrek glasses

June 4, 2010, 1:37 a.m. Updated June 4, 2010, 3:06 a.m.


— Cadmium has been discovered in the painted design on “Shrek”-themed drinking glasses being sold nationwide at McDonald’s, forcing the burger giant to recall 12 million of the cheap U.S.-made collectibles while dramatically expanding contamination concerns about the toxic metal beyond imported children’s jewelry.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, which announced the voluntary recall early Friday, warned consumers to immediately stop using the glasses; McDonald’s said it would post instructions on its website next week regarding refunds.

The 16-ounce glasses, being sold for about $2 each as part of a promotional campaign for the movie “Shrek Forever After,” were available in four designs depicting the characters Shrek, Princess Fiona, Puss in Boots and Donkey.

In the animated comedy, which debuted May 21 as the latest installment of the successful DreamWorks Animation franchise, the voice of Shrek is performed by Mike Myers of “Austin Powers” fame, Cameron Diaz performs as Princess Fiona, Antonio Banderas as Puss in Boots and Eddie Murphy voices Donkey. The movie has been No. 1 at the box office since its release.

The CPSC noted in its recall notice that “long-term exposure to cadmium can cause adverse health effects.” Cadmium is a known carcinogen that research shows also can cause bone softening and severe kidney problems.

In the case of the Shrek-themed glassware, the potential danger would be long-term exposure to low levels of cadmium, which could leach from the paint onto a child’s hand, then enter the body if the child puts that unwashed hand to his or her mouth.

Cadmium can be used to create reds and yellows in paint. McDonald’s USA spokesman Bill Whitman said a pigment in paint on the glasses contained cadmium.

“A very small amount of cadmium can come to the surface of the glass, and in order to be as protective as possible of children, CPSC and McDonald’s worked together on this recall,” said CPSC spokesman Scott Wolfson. He would not specify the amounts of cadmium that leached from the paint in tests, but said the amounts were “slightly above the protective level currently being developed by the agency.”

Wolfson said the glasses have “far less cadmium than the children’s metal jewelry that CPSC has previously recalled.”

Concerns about cadmium exposure emerged in January, when The Associated Press reported that some items of children’s jewelry sold at major national chains contained up to 91 percent of the metal. Federal regulators worry that kids could ingest cadmium by biting, sucking or even swallowing contaminated pendants and bracelets.

The consumer protection agency has issued three recalls this spring for jewelry highlighted in the AP stories, including products sold at Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer; at Claire’s, a major jewelry and accessories chain in North America and Europe; and at discount and dollar stores.

Those recalls all involved children’s metal jewelry — and all of that jewelry was made in China.

Manufactured by ARC International of Millville, N.J., the glasses were to be sold from May 21 into June. Roughly seven million of the glasses had been sold; another approximately five million are in stores or have not yet been shipped, said Whitman.

Associated Press reporters tried unsuccessfully to buy the glasses late Thursday at McDonald’s in New York, Los Angeles and northern New Jersey but were alternately told the merchandise was sold out, no longer available or “there’ll be more tomorrow.”

E-mails sent after business hours to two spokesmen for ARC International seeking comment were not immediately returned.

McDonald’s said it was asking customers to stop using the glasses “out of an abundance of caution.”

“We believe the Shrek glassware is safe for consumer use,” Whitman said. “However, again to ensure that our customers receive safe products from us, we made the decision to stop selling them and voluntarily recall these products effective immediately.”

Whitman said that as the CPSC develops new protocols and standards for cadmium in consumer products, “we adjust as necessary to ensure that our customers can continue to trust what they receive from McDonald’s.”


Agnostick 3 years, 10 months ago

I'll say this much: I have every reason to believe the blathering yahoos in this thread who are crowing about "never going to McDonald's." The ignorance is spilling over by the gallon.

What does this have to do with "poisoning kids," either with food or tainted glassware? The glasses were available for purchase to anyone, for $1.99 each.

The glasses were not included in Happy Meals.

They're probably handling this a lot better than other recalls of the past. You take your glass back, get your money back, and that's it.

As I said in an earlier post, I'm more curious about the folks who have the glasses, and are under some delusion than they'll be "collector's items" 10 years from now, that they'll be able to sell on eBay for $30. In case you've forgotten, eBay regularly kills auctions for items they consider dangerous, illegal, immoral etc. I'm pretty sure the Shrek glasses have already made it onto the eBay "black list."

But again, this has no direct connection to children.

Yeah, save your kids from dangerous, evil Mickey D! No biggie, they'll die from whooping cough and measles and pox anyway, 'cause you're probably delusional about those "evil" vaccines, as well. ;)


CHEEZIT 3 years, 10 months ago

Funny I saw an ad today for those glasses. I think it was on channel 6!!! McDonald's poisioning people with their food. Really people, get a life!!!


LJ Whirled 3 years, 10 months ago

What a shock -- McDonald's poisoning children. At least it's in a different way.

The big corporate structure makes the people running these businesses feel invincible. They do whatever they can to make the quickest buck, knowing that if they get caught the corporation will just have to pay some of the money back, and they'll make it up on the next scam.

The only way to stop this is to start putting people in jail. That is true of the abuses in the banks, the credit-rating agencies, oil giants like BP, and child-poisoners like McDonald's. If you identify the people in the corporation who are responsible, prosecute them and lock them up, you change the whole game. Otherwise, you end up fining the company and, in effect, making them give you back a penny for each dollar they stole.

Individual consequences must be imposed on the people within these companies. Your company sells poison to kids, you go to jail = you aren't likely to sell much poison. Your company sells poison to kids, your company pays a fine = who cares?


TrooGrit 3 years, 10 months ago

why do we continue to let China poison us this way! Can you not see what is happening here? STOP!


lounger 3 years, 10 months ago

Im suprized the people who give thier kids Macdonalds would care! They poison thier children with horrible micky D's so called food anyway- whats a little more toxic nastyness in the mix gonna matter? Seriously this isnt a shocker coming from a food corp who cares less about anything but profit...


somedude20 3 years, 10 months ago

No surprise really about the glasses because their food is just as cheap and unsafe!


gr 3 years, 10 months ago

Isn't this a good way to get rid of toxic waste?

Just a little bit spread out over the whole population. They either throw it in the garbage dumps across the nation or they absorb it and either die and are buried across the nation or eliminate it and it goes into the sewer systems of the nation.


Only thing missing is to market it as being good for kids complexion or something. Too bad no one else has come up with a most fabulous disposal system. Oh wait! I can think of two that has been so ingrained into society that you are labeled as an infidel just for questioning it.

Oh well. Marketing is great. Bad is good, good is bad. McDonald's needs to understand marketing better.


autie 3 years, 10 months ago

I say Donkey...if ya eat the glass it'll make you daff.


conservative 3 years, 10 months ago

When i saw this headline on the journal world i figured it was about cups produced at Packerware here in town. Glad for their sake it wasn't them.


cowboy 3 years, 10 months ago

Cadmium is a common ingredient of traditional ceramic colorings.Ceramic pigments are basically ground up rock. Its not an additive per se . There is supposed to be testing prior to production to keep dangerous elements to an industry safe standard. Most all of these standards relate to surface areas that touch lips or contents. These glasses may well have passed those standards. Most large distributors would / should have used cadmium / lead free pigments. Problem is the colors aren't as good. The risk from a single glass is pretty minimal but McDonalds should have had some QA process in place to keep a national distribution above reproach


justtired 3 years, 10 months ago

I have all of the glasses. I am just going to keep them and not use them.


Chris Ogle 3 years, 10 months ago

I would rather have one of the glasses, than one of the hamburgers.


RoeDapple 3 years, 10 months ago

China's answer to toxic waste disposal


Hoots 3 years, 10 months ago

Some childrens play jewelry made in China and shipped to the U.S. contains 90% Cadmium. The Chinese like to use this as much or more than lead. I keep wondering why they have favored trade status and why we keep buying the cheap pulluted crap they make.


denak 3 years, 10 months ago

I have three of the 4 glasses and we went to McDonalds earlier tonight to see if the glass with Donkey was being sold yet and they just said, "sorry we aren't selling them anymore" I was a little annoyed because they stopped selling them so abruptly.. Guess I know why now.


denak 3 years, 10 months ago

I have three of the 4 glasses and we went to McDonalds earlier tonight to see if the glass with Donkey was being sold yet and they just said, "sorry we aren't selling them anymore" I was a little annoyed because they stopped selling them so abruptly.. Guess I know why now.


Eride 3 years, 10 months ago

Um... wtf would you use cadmium in any kind of consumer product INTENTIONALLY!!!!!!

Is this another case of Chinese manufacturers poisoning american consumers or is this really a case of local stupidity? That element shouldn't be near any surface that is remotely related to human consumption. Would love it if this story actually contained details of who was responsible for this asinine act.


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