June 4, 2010 -- Fast food giant McDonald's Corp. announced today it is recalling 12 million of its new "Shrek Forever After" glasses because dangerous levels of the metal cadmium have been detected in the decorative paint used for the images.
McDonald's said it is ordering the voluntary recall in collaboration with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) as a precautionary measure.
The CPSC said consumers should stop using the glasses immediately and said it is illegal to resell or try to resell a product that has been recalled.
"When the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission approached McDonald's about cadmium in their current movie-themed drinking glasses, the company responded quickly," McDonald's spokesman Scott Wolfson says in a news release. "The glasses have far less cadmium than the children's metal jewelry that [the Consumer Product Safety Commission] has previously recalled."
The company said the glassware was evaluated by an independent third-party laboratory, accredited by the CPSC, and determined to be in compliance with federal and state requirements at the time of manufacture and distribution.
However, the company said that in light of the CPSC's "evolving assessment of standards for cadmium" in consumer products, McDonald's decided "in an abundance of caution" that a voluntary recall was appropriate.
The Shrek Forever After glassware was offered in four glasses at McDonald's restaurants starting May 21.
The four designs include Puss 'n' Boots, Shrek, Princess Fiona, and Donkey.
McDonald's said people who purchased the glasses should visit its web site at www.mcdonalds.com/glasses starting June 8 for instructions on how to return the glassware and obtain a refund. Customers also may call its toll-free number at 800-244-6227.
The glasses, which sold for about $2 per glass, were manufactured by ARC International of Millville, N.J. McDonald's says previous McDonald's glassware was not involved in the recall.
The CPSC said it was "made aware" of issues with the glasses through the office of Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif. She said on her web site that her office had been alerted by an anonymous source and that cadmium "is a toxic substance that is extremely dangerous to the developmental health of children."
She said children's health "should not depend on the consciences of anonymous sources" and that "stronger testing standards" are needed for all children's products before sale.
Speier said she alerted CPSC Chairwoman Inez Tenenbaum last week, who agreed to expedite testing of the glasses.