U.S. Senate strengthens Consumer Product Safety Agency

Starting in March 2007, a string of recalls involving toothpaste, tires and pet food containing contaminated ingredients from China caused U.S. consumers to question product safety. Public confidence in federal oversight of imports sank further in June when toymaker RC2 recalled Thomas and Friends toys for having lead paint, a toxic substance that most people thought had been banished from toys in the 1970s.

In September Mattel recalled more than 20 million products, including Barbie, Elmo and Dora toys, because they were coated in lead or contained small, dangerous magnets.

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