updated 10/31/2007 5:13:34 PM ET 2007-10-31T21:13:34

Tests by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission did not find a lead problem in toy animals that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. pulled from its shelves this month over what the retailer called high lead levels.

A spokeswoman for the watchdog agency said Wednesday the government tests did not find lead levels that were higher than federal safety standards. The commission will not be seeking a wider recall of the toys, which Wal-Mart said may be sold by other retailers.

Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest toy seller, announced Oct. 19 that it was pulling sets of plastic farm and jungle animals and dinosaurs out of stores and offering a refund to shoppers.

Wal-Mart said its own safety testing, stepped up after this year’s string of toy recalls, found “high” lead levels in the material used to make the animals.

Wal-Mart provided the test results to the agency, it said.

A commission spokeswoman, Julie Vallese, said Wednesday the agency ran its own tests and closed the investigation based on the results.

“We found the test results did not require action,” Vallese said. She declined to comment on the apparent contradiction between the findings.

“When we find a violation (of safety standards), we will seek a recall,” she said.

Wal-Mart declined to provide the specific results of its tests or name the lab that conducted them.

“The test results showed high lead levels and we felt we had to take the actions we took,” Wal-Mart spokeswoman Linda Blakley said.

Wal-Mart’s withdrawal of the toys was a unilateral action, rather than a recall coordinated with the CPSC.

The CPSC this week said Wal-Mart’s announcement lacked some information that consumers need, including how many toys were sold, when they were sold and what other retailers sold them.

The agency said it prefers that companies work with it to produce comprehensive recall announcements that give consumers all the information they need to react.

Wal-Mart’s Oct. 19 recall announcement did not say how many of the sets were sold, when they had been stocked in Wal-Mart stores or name the manufacturer.

The retailer has declined to provide those details when asked by The Associated Press. A spokeswoman said she believed the toys were sold by other retailers but declined to provide their names.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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