Consumer Groups Warn that New Easter Candy Poses Serious Hazard, Urge CPSC to Remove 'Megga Surprize' from Shelves to Protect Children

National Consumers League, Consumer Federation of America

Urge Immediate Action



Apr 12, 2001, 01:00 ET from National Consumers League

    WASHINGTON, April 12 /PRNewswire/ -- With only days to go before children
 dig into their Easter baskets, the National Consumers League (NCL) and the
 Consumer Federation of America (CFA) urged the government today to pull a new
 Easter candy off the market because they say it poses a choking hazard.
     The new candy, called "Megga Surprize" and manufactured by the Whetstone
 Candy Co. in St. Augustine, Fla., is a plastic egg mostly encased in milk
 chocolate and filled with paper toys. The two national consumer organizations
 warned that young children are likely to put the egg, which smells like
 chocolate even after the candy is eaten, into their mouths, creating a
 potential suffocation hazard.
     "Because of its size, shape, color, and smell, this plastic egg will
 undoubtedly end up in children's mouths -- with potentially deadly
 consequences," said Linda Golodner, president of NCL. "This candy has no place
 in children's Easter baskets."
     In a joint letter, the NCL and CFA urged the Consumer Product Safety
 Commission (CPSC) to take immediate enforcement action to halt the product's
 distribution and sale. In the meantime, the consumer groups are warning
 parents to keep this candy away from their children.
     "Parents should not give this product to their children, especially
 younger children," said Arthur S. Jaeger, assistant director of Consumer
 Federation of America. "It is a recipe for tragedy."
     The consumer groups pointed to a report prepared by Safety Behavior
 Analysis Inc. that warned of serious danger from the product. The product
 safety report noted that the plastic egg has "an effective maximum diameter"
 of 1.58 inches. It cites choking incidents involving objects of similar size
 and shape, stating that "widely distributed choking hazard data and technical
 reports indicate that spherical shapes smaller than 1.68 inches in diameter
 present a serious choking hazard."
     Although the plastic egg contains a narrow plastic ridge, the report said
 that this "slight ridge is unlikely to be effective in preventing the object
 from sliding from the mouth into the back of the throat and obstructing the
 airway." The report concludes that the plastic egg constitutes a "serious
 choking hazard due to its size, shape, and intended age group."
     "That's why we're urging the CPSC to stop the sale of this dangerous
 product," Golodner said. "We don't want any more children to die needlessly
 when a tragedy can be prevented."
 
     The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America's pioneer
 consumer organization. Our mission is to identify, protect, represent, and
 advance the economic and social interests of consumers and workers. NCL is a
 private, nonprofit membership organization.
 
     CFA was founded in 1968 to advance the consumer interest though advocacy
 and education. It is an association of more than 270 pro-consumer groups. Most
 are national state and local consumer advocacy and education groups.
 
 

SOURCE National Consumers League
    WASHINGTON, April 12 /PRNewswire/ -- With only days to go before children
 dig into their Easter baskets, the National Consumers League (NCL) and the
 Consumer Federation of America (CFA) urged the government today to pull a new
 Easter candy off the market because they say it poses a choking hazard.
     The new candy, called "Megga Surprize" and manufactured by the Whetstone
 Candy Co. in St. Augustine, Fla., is a plastic egg mostly encased in milk
 chocolate and filled with paper toys. The two national consumer organizations
 warned that young children are likely to put the egg, which smells like
 chocolate even after the candy is eaten, into their mouths, creating a
 potential suffocation hazard.
     "Because of its size, shape, color, and smell, this plastic egg will
 undoubtedly end up in children's mouths -- with potentially deadly
 consequences," said Linda Golodner, president of NCL. "This candy has no place
 in children's Easter baskets."
     In a joint letter, the NCL and CFA urged the Consumer Product Safety
 Commission (CPSC) to take immediate enforcement action to halt the product's
 distribution and sale. In the meantime, the consumer groups are warning
 parents to keep this candy away from their children.
     "Parents should not give this product to their children, especially
 younger children," said Arthur S. Jaeger, assistant director of Consumer
 Federation of America. "It is a recipe for tragedy."
     The consumer groups pointed to a report prepared by Safety Behavior
 Analysis Inc. that warned of serious danger from the product. The product
 safety report noted that the plastic egg has "an effective maximum diameter"
 of 1.58 inches. It cites choking incidents involving objects of similar size
 and shape, stating that "widely distributed choking hazard data and technical
 reports indicate that spherical shapes smaller than 1.68 inches in diameter
 present a serious choking hazard."
     Although the plastic egg contains a narrow plastic ridge, the report said
 that this "slight ridge is unlikely to be effective in preventing the object
 from sliding from the mouth into the back of the throat and obstructing the
 airway." The report concludes that the plastic egg constitutes a "serious
 choking hazard due to its size, shape, and intended age group."
     "That's why we're urging the CPSC to stop the sale of this dangerous
 product," Golodner said. "We don't want any more children to die needlessly
 when a tragedy can be prevented."
 
     The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America's pioneer
 consumer organization. Our mission is to identify, protect, represent, and
 advance the economic and social interests of consumers and workers. NCL is a
 private, nonprofit membership organization.
 
     CFA was founded in 1968 to advance the consumer interest though advocacy
 and education. It is an association of more than 270 pro-consumer groups. Most
 are national state and local consumer advocacy and education groups.
 
 SOURCE  National Consumers League