BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 8 November 2007, 17:51 GMT
Asda withdraws toy over drug risk
Bindeez toy
The children who swallowed the beads have now recovered
Asda has withdrawn three Chinese-made children's toys found in Australia and the US to contain a substance linked to the date-rape drug GHB.

The supermarket chain said it had taken three Bindeez products off the shelves as a precautionary measure.

The Bindeez toy consists of hundreds of beads that can be arranged into a piece of art and sprayed with water to set.

Five children in the US and Australia had to go to hospital after swallowing a number of the beads.

They subsequently recovered, although two had first slipped into comas.

A faulty batch of beads had been coated in chemicals which turned into the banned drug when swallowed.

Toy of the year

An Asda spokeswoman said the firm, owned by US giant Wal-Mart, was now awaiting further instructions from the suppler.

The three products it has withdrawn are Bindeez Starter Set, Bindeez Super Set, and Bindeez Themed pack.

The toy has proved extremely popular in the US and Australia, where it was named Australia's Toy of the Year for 2007.

The beads are meant to be coated in a non-toxic glue.

About 4.2 million units of the toy have been recalled in the US, officials said, and about one million in Australia.

Australian-based manufacturer Moose Enterprises said the toys were made at a factory in southern China's Guangdong province.

The firm said Bindeez beads would in future be covered with a "foul-tasting ingredient" to try to ensure children would not eat them.

It is the latest in a series of safety scares over products made in China.

US toy maker Mattel has recalled more than 20 million Chinese-made toys this year.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific