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Parents hit out at EU over tiny deadly toys.



The mother of a Birmingham girl who choked to death on a toy has hit out at the complacency of the European Commission after it rejected calls to ban tiny novelties sold in chocolate eggs.

Jennifer Ashton, aged three, died after she choked on a piece of a Pink Panther panther, name commonly applied to the leopard, especially to a black leopard. It is also used locally to designate various other cats including the jaguar and the puma.  figure found inside a Kinder Surprise egg in 1989.

Since then her mother, Mrs Glenys Ashton, of Kitwell, Bartley Green Bartley Green is a residential area to the south west of Birmingham city centre, England. The ward is part of the Edgbaston constituency which has been under Labour rule for almost ten years. , and the parents of two other children who died in similar circumstance have campaigned for the products to be withdrawn from stores across the European Union.

The parents of Roddy Breslin, aged three, from Omagh, County Tyrone
This article is about County Tyrone. For other uses of the name, see Tyrone (disambiguation).
County Tyrone (Irish: Contae Thír Eoghain) is the second largest of the nine counties of Ulster and the largest of the six counties of Northern Ireland.
, and four-year-old Caron Day, from Blackpool, are also leading the campaign for compulsory safeguards against toys which in some cases resemble and even taste like the foodstuffs foodstuffs nplcomestibles mpl

foodstuffs npldenrées fpl alimentaires

foodstuffs food npl
 in which they are contained.

All three children died after swallowing small parts of toys inside edible eggs.

A joint statement issued by the three families of the young victims said: 'These accidents happened some years ago but so far we have been unable to do anything to change the situation in the United Kingdom.

'We want to do our utmost to ensure that other children do not die from eating these terrible products and we know that there have been similar accidents in other European countries.'

The three families petitioned Euro-MPs earlier this year, urging action across the European Union.

But EU Commission research officials told a meeting of MEPs in Brussels yesterday that there was no evidence of a particular risk associated with the marketing of the small toys inside sweets.

'This is very complacent. There is a clear and present danger and it should not be necessary for more children to die because the Commission is too complacent to make an urgent assessment of the risks involved,' said Labour Euro-MP Mr Phillip Whitehead Phillip Whitehead , MA (May 30, 1937 – December 31, 2005) was a British Labour politician, television producer and writer.

Born in Matlock Bath, Derbyshire, he was adopted by a local family, and attended Lady Manners School in Bakewell and Exeter College at Oxford
.

He was speaking after the European Parliament's environment committee urged the Commission to follow America's lead and block sales of toys which the US health and safety authorities have deemed too dangerous for small children.

Mr Whitehead said: 'This afternoon's meeting showed there is heavy pressure building up on this issue, whatever the Commission says. We now want to bring this matter before the health and safety Commissioner David Byrne and take it to the full European Parliament.'
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Author:Brady, Emma
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Sep 12, 2000
Words:388
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