McDonald's Shrek Drek: 12 Million Glasses Recalled

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McDonald's is recalling 12 million Shrek-themed cups after cadmium, a soft metal and a known carcinogen, was discovered in the glasses' paint. Sold for $2 a pop, the 16-ounce glasses were part of a promotional campaign for the popular film Shrek Forever After. Here's what's buzzing:

  • So What Happened?  Reuters reports: "The [Consumer Product Safety Commission] said designs on the glasses, made by ARC International in Millville, New Jersey, contain cadmium and 'long-term exposure ... can cause adverse health effects.' Cadmium is a known carcinogen that research shows also can cause bone softening and severe kidney problems. The agency said no incidents or injuries related to the glasses have been reported. Shares of the world's largest hamburger chain slipped 1.5 percent in pre-market trading. [The CPSC spokesman] did not specify the amounts of cadmium that leached from the paint in tests by the CPSC but said the levels were slightly above the protective level currently being developed by the agency."
  • What Got the Ball Rolling?  Peter Nicholas at the LA Times explains: "The recall... was set in motion by an anonymous tip to Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Hillsborough) last week. She alerted the commission, which tested the glasses and confirmed the presence of cadmium in the paint used for the decorative characters."
  • What's Next?  The Kentucky Post reports: "McDonald's is also asking families that have already bought the glasses to stop using them. The nationwide Shrek glass recall was announced early Friday morning. McDonald's has told the Associated Press it plans to post refund instructions for the Shrek glasses on its website early next week."
  • The Consequences?  Say Goodbye to Disney Happy Meals, writes Douglas McIntyre at 24/7 Wall Street: "McDonald’s has made a business of joint ventures between popular children’s films and product promotions in its stores. The programs bring in millions of kids and McDonald’s in many cases sells them promotional items based on characters and themes from films. It is clear now that the promotions have a risk. They often involve manufacturing items that McDonald’s does not use in its daily food preparation. If the fallout from the 'Shrek' product recall is great enough, the companies entertainment joint venture days may be over."
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