Richard King, executive chairman of Character Options, has issued a statement re-confirming the safety of Go Go Hamsters:
“Safety of children has always been the Company’s top priority and we take all reasonable steps to ensure that all our products, both those we design and develop under our own brand and those we distribute on behalf of other manufacturers, are safe and fully compliant with all applicable standards.
“It is unfortunate that the media have picked up a misguided safety statement from a start-up consumer group in the US and have blown it up into front page news in the UK before taking steps to check the veracity of the statements.
"The disruption to the retail toy trade by the publication of unfounded claims and views at this important time of year is not fair to the UK Toy trade, which goes to great lengths to sell and promote only safe toys."
The safety confirmation follows a report published last week by the Good Guide, an independent US-based consumer group, in which one item in the range - the hamster Mr Squiggles - was inaccurately alleged to contain more than the permitted level of the chemical antimony.
Yesterday (6.12.09), the Good Guide issued a further release explaining the testing methods adopted and equipment used in their tests.
It is clear from this that the testing protocols used by Good Guide were not compliant with EU or US standards and that the equipment used (an XRF gun) is not a method of testing compliance that is accepted by the EU or US regulatory bodies.
Accordingly, the Good Guide testing process was flawed, the results meaningless and the safety concerns expressed on the basis of these results, entirely groundless.
Russ Hornsby, CEO of the manufacturer, Cepia has confirmed to Character Group that Cepia has referred this incident to its US Attorneys and is considering proceedings against the Good Guide.