McDonald’s has voluntarily recalled 12 million ‘Shrek’ glasses that it sold at its stores due to a dangerous product defect that could cause injury to its customers. The 16 ounce glasses, that were sold for $2, have paint on them in which dangerous cadmium was discovered. Cadmium is toxic to humans. It is a carcinogen and can cause softening of the bones and kidney issues.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has warned consumers to immediately stop using the glasses. It also reports that there have been no injuries reported from people who have already handled or drank from the glasses. McDonald’s will have information on its website about how to obtain a refund for those who have purchased the glasses. Despite the warning from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to stop using the glasses, and the known dangers of cadmium exposure, McDonald’s maintains that it believes the glasses are safe for use by consumers, but still warns them to stop using them out of an abundance of caution.
The Federal government first caught wind that there might be cadmium in the paint on these glasses when an anonymous tipster called U.S. Representative Jackie Speire of California, and said that testing of the glasses showed that cadmium was present in the glasses. Earlier this spring, jewelry sold at Wal-Mart and Claire’s, along with other discount dollar stores, had to be recalled after cadmium was found on the jewelry. All of that jewelry was metal jewelry made in China.
Obviously clearer testing standards should be in place to ensure that products sold to consumers are not tainted with toxic materials. These recent recalls are even more egregious because most of these products where cadmium has been found are products marketed and used by children. Keeping the public safe from dangerous or defective products should be a top priority of manufacturers and retailers.
Update June 10, 2010: McDonald’s has reported that it will issue a $3 refund for glasses returned at the stores. Customers must return the glasses and fill out a refund form. The glasses cost customers $1.99 if they purchased them with food, and $2.49 if purchased alone. The extra amount of the refund is to account for any taxes consumers may have paid.