FDA starts high-tech toy safety inspections for Christmas
Health authorities started this week a series of high-tech toy safety inspections in Metro Manila, to make sure gift items bought in establishments meet safety standards.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said the inspections will take place for the entire Christmas season.
"FDA inspectors will be making the rounds, conducting on-site testing in establishments from sidewalk bangketas to the stores located in malls that are engaged in the selling of toys and other consumer goods," the DFA said in a news release.
Depending on the test results that will be available instantly, appropriate regulatory sanctions will immediately be issued on products found to be non-compliant with safety standards, it said.
Also, it said the tests aim to detect the presence of toxic heavy metals such as lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), mercury (Hg) and arsenic (As).
Labels of toy products will also be inspected for appropriate warnings that include choking hazards.
"In the future, the FDA will be expanding this campaign to ultimately cover more regions," the FDA said.
The FDA said it will use a portable X-ray fluorescence analyzer in the inspections.
"By enabling access to accurate test results on heavy metals almost instantly, the X-ray analyzer is making possible the enforcement of regulatory decisions on-site that will significantly impact on furthering the cause of consumer safety," it said.
Support from gov't, advocacy groups
The FDA said the inspections have the support of the Department of Trade and Industry, the local governments, and other enforcement agencies.
Advocacy groups such as EcoWaste are also actively supporting the campaign, it said.
It warned sellers of unregistered and adulterated toy products that under RA 9711, the maximum administrative penalty imposable that will be meted to erring persons is P500,000.
Aside from the fine, products will be subject to seizure and the establishment subject to closure.
"If a separate criminal action is pursued, in addition to maximum fine of P500,000, the offender will also be subject to imprisonment of not more than 10 years. If the offender is a manufacturer, importer, or distributor of unregistered toy products, the maximum fine imposable is P5 million and imprisonment of not more than 10 years," it said. — LBG, GMA News
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