None of which is great PR for China, a nation whose wealth depends on exports. The pressure to perform is so great that the co-owner of a Chinese Mattel supplier killed himself at the weekend, apparently over the company's initial product recall. Now the Chinese government is understandably keen to make it clear that the right safety measures are being put in place.
We can't help detecting a certain amount of anti-Chinese sentiment in all this. After all, China isn't the only country with supply-chain issues. Just look at the Sunday Times allegations over Philip Green's use of ‘slave labour', or the mistreatment of Bulgarians working for a Cornish supplier to Tesco and Morrisons. It should all be water off a duck's back for the Chinese anyway. Last month, the country's trade surplus stood at more than $24bn, the second-highest figure on record. US politicians may be publicly slamming its safety standards, but they're all too aware that they are as dependent on Chinese products as the Asian giant is on their custom.