SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) – The country’s top safety agency took an unusual step and filed an administrative action against a toy company after it refused to recall a potentially dangerous toy.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission filed the action against the manufacturers of Buckyballs, a high powered magnetic desktop adult toy. The agency said this is the first time in 11 years that a company has refused to recall a dangerous product.
The CPSC said that in a two year period there were at least 22 cases of kids swallowing the tiny magnets and in some cases requiring surgery.
The CPSC wants the manufacturers of Buckyballs, Maxfield and Oberton, to pull the product off the shelf and to offer full refunds. So far, the safety commission has been able to persuade about 10 retailers, including Amazon.com, to stop selling the product.
The commission said the Buckyballs can get stuck in the gastrointestinal walls, leading to perforations that can cause serious injury or death. The warning from the Consumer Product Safety Commission came after a Bakersfield teen swallowed four Buckyballs while mimicking a tongue piercing.
The company has refused to recall the product. Andrew Frank, a Buckyballs spokesman said, “They’ve gone too far, because magnets are all over the place.”
In a statement, Maxfield and Oberton called the agency actions “unfair, unjust and un-American.” Company founder Craig Zucker is backing his product as well claiming Buckyballs are marketed to people 14 and older and carry clear warning labels to keep them away from kids.
Zucker said his company will fight the agency. A hearing on the future of Buckyballs could come this fall.
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