Page last updated at 17:19 GMT, Thursday, 17 April 2008 18:19 UK

EU warns over 'risky' China goods

By Oana Lungescu
BBC News, Brussels

Chinese-made toy removed by Mattel in August 2007 (Mattel/PA)
Millions of Chinese-made toys were removed from EU and US shelves

China is the main source of dangerous goods in Europe, according to a safety report by the European Commission.

Toys were identified as the product most likely to pose a danger to European consumers.

The report said that there had been a 50% increase in the number of dangerous products removed from European markets.

EU Consumer Commissioner Meglena Kuneva said that did not mean Europe was being flooded with risky items, rather that the system for finding them was better.

Eighty percent of all toys sold in the EU are made in China.

Ms Kuneva told reporters that pressure on Beijing had begun to have an effect.

"I believe that the Chinese government has realised the importance of product safety and of protecting the 'made-in-China' brand," she said.

Millions of Chinese-made toys were recalled in 2007 by both the EU and the US, prompting the European Commission to raise the prospect of a ban if Beijing failed to show it was working to tackle the problem.

The commission said that 1,605 products considered to be risky had been found in 2007 - a 53% rise on the previous year's number. The majority were toys, vehicles and electrical goods.

Ms Kuneva said the EU's rapid alert system to spot dangerous goods was working better than every before.

Under the system, set up in 2004, a dangerous product identified in one EU member country triggers an alert throughout Europe.

Ms Kuneva is due to visit Beijing in June and will host a summit on product safety with China and the US in November.

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