We said back in October that the question of phthalates in PVC teething toys was a debate based on emotion, not a science.
Nothing drove that home more than the Nov. 13 decision by Toys R Us to remove phthalate-containing teethers from store shelves by Nov. 18.
You can't really blame Toys R Us. It knew that ABC News' ``20/20'' program had a story slated for that evening that was going to raise questions about the safety of phthalates. If the toy company had chosen to stick by chemical and toy industry leaders who proclaimed those products safe, it could have meant a prolonged battle with phthalate opponents.
With key political leaders in Denmark, Canada and elsewhere attacking phthalates, it's too much to ask retailers to hold the line.
Is it too late to change public attitudes about the safety of the products? Maybe not. But even in the best case, the damage from one story on the ``20/20'' program will take years to reverse.