As the toy shopping rush gains steam as Christmas nears, an environmental organization advocating for children’s health and safety scored toy manufacturers for failing to comply with the mandatory toy labeling requirements.
“Despite the promulgation of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act 10620, or the Toy and Game Safety Labeling Act, in January 2019, duly labeled toys are still hard to come by,” lamented Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.
“Manufacturers, importers, and distributors who continue to ignore the required labeling requirements for toys are depriving consumers of an essential tool they can use in choosing appropriate products that are trustworthy, of good quality, and pose no health risks,” she said.
In test buys conducted on November 23, 2022 in Cubao, Quezon City, the EcoWaste Coalition found all the 25 toys it procured from four legitimate retail establishments as non-compliant to the toy labeling requirements. For example, 16 products had no License to Operate (LTO) number; 22 lacked manufacturer’s markings; and 19 provided no instructional literature.
The group’s latest push for adherence to toy labeling requirements coincided with the second anniversary of an important advisory issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on November 25, 2020.
On that day two years ago, the FDA issued Advisory No. 2020-2022 reiterating the mandatory labeling requirements for toys and child care articles pursuant to RA 10620’s IRR.
As recapped by the FDA, the following information are required on the package, container, wrapper or protective covering of toys: LTO Number issued by FDA; age grading; cautionary statement/warnings; instructional literature; manufacturer’s markings with complete name and address of the local company; and item model or Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) number.
The labeling information, which should be visible, easily legible, understandable, and in indelible form, shall be generally written in English and not written in foreign characters.
Aside from promoting compliance to RA 10620, the EcoWaste Coalition is also urging manufacturers to, in the absence of a law, voluntarily disclose the chemicals used in making a toy, as well as their potential hazards, on the product label.
“Chemical ingredient and hazard disclosure will go a long way in educating and protecting consumers against harmful substances in products, and in driving industry shifts to clean production,” the EcoWaste Coalition said.