(Sept. 24, 2007) — I am writing to commend Nina Ying Sun on her Viewpoint [“Who really profits from brand China?” Aug. 20, Page 6].
I am a longtime toy and premium manufacturer — using factories in China for the most part. In the recent hullabaloo surrounding Mattel's recall, Nina's article is the first I have read that asked the question: What was Mattel doing before for safety and quality control?
Lead paint should have never made it onto the toys. End of story.
The recall just meant people were asleep at the wheel. Balancing safety procedures has been an ongoing discussion for many U.S. companies. While cost issues should never be a factor in determining what safety procedures are followed, the reality is that the costs are considered as part of the equation. If you have a totally safe product that no one buys, you don't have a product.
For all of us in toy manufacturing, I think the Mattel issue works to our favor. The recent events raise the bar for what U.S. consumers will require in good manufacturing practices, especially, but not only, in products for children.
I would love to hear more from Nina on this issue. Bravo.
J.M. Wechter & Associates Inc.
Marstons Mills, Mass.