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CPSC And State Farm Recall Toy Bears
Volume 593
March 19, 2009


The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has recalled more than 800,000 teddy bears that were given out during a promotion by State Farm Insurance between September of 2005 and March of 2007. According to the CPSC, the eyes on the bears can come off, posing a choking hazard to children. State Farm found out about the defect after receiving a report that a Texas girl swallowed a bear's plastic eye. The child was not seriously hurt.

"Once we learned about this, we took swift and decisive action to take care of the situation," said Kip Diggs, State Farm spokesman, in an interview with Counselor. "We contacted the CPSC. Our first concern was the safety of the children. These bears were meant to bring comfort and fun to kids."

A total of 827,000 stuffed animals, called Good Neigh Bears, were handed out in the U.S. and Canada. According to Diggs, the bears were often given to charities and to children who were victims of natural disasters. The bears are 11-18 inches tall and wear a white and red shirt bearing a State Farm logo. Even before the recall, Diggs says State Farm had begun using different bears in promotions. The new bears have eyes that are sewn into the material, instead of being glued on. "We are working to be proactive and we're continually evaluating items like these, looking for the best design and ideas," said Diggs. "We will continue to use promotional products in our business." According to State Farm, the bears were manufactured in China by Jinhu Golden Sun Enterprise Co., Ltd.

State Farm announced that consumers should immediately take the items away from young children and discard them. State Farm is leading consumers to its Web site for more information.

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