Only US-Made Toys for Jack and Emma

from WRAL (AP):

The wife of Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards said she had a hard time tracking down gifts made in the U.S. after she and her husband promised to avoid putting Chinese-made toys under their Christmas tree this year.

“My kids will not have toys coming from China,” John Edwards said during a Democratic presidential debate Dec. 4.

After making the no-Chinese toys pledge during the debate, the former North Carolina senator told the AP he had to check with home. “Of course, I immediately had to come out and get on the phone with Elizabeth and say, ‘We’re not. I’m right about this, right?'”

The Edwardses decided not to buy Chinese-made toys after millions were recalled this year for containing high levels of lead – a tough task given that roughly 80 percent of U.S. playthings are made in China.

The Edwards campaign said Elizabeth Edwards did find U.S.-made toys but would not get into the specifics as not to spoil anyone’s gifts.

“We were careful to read the labels on everything we picked up, from toys and books to puzzles and dolls,” Mrs. Edwards said in an e-mail response sent to the AP from the campaign.

She said she shopped online (“a blessing for anyone campaigning up until Christmas”) and used toy-rating Web sites as her guide. She bought most of the children’s items at local stores in North Carolina, she said.

“Even at the local toy stores, it was incredibly time-consuming to find anything made in the United States, particularly among the highly advertised toys on so many children’s lists,” she said.

Their younger children, Emma Claire, 9, and Jack, 7, are making presents for family and friends.

Jeffrey L Cohen

Jeffrey L Cohen