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Mother calls for ban after girl chokes on Kinder egg.

A Birmingham mother whose three-year-old daughter choked to death on a toy inside a Kinder chocolate egg is backing a campaign to ban the sweets.

Jennifer Ashton, of Kitwell, Bartley Green, died in 1989 after swallowing a tiny part of a Pink Panther model inside a Kinder Surprise egg.

The child's mother, Glenys, said: "It's time someone listened to us. I will not be happy until these sweets are banned."

Concerns were raised about the potentially lethal nature of toys in the children's egg following a series of tragedies.

Four-year-old Caren Day, from Blackpool, choked to death on a similar piece of plastic, and Roddy Breslin, aged three, died after swallowing a toy component no bigger than a thumbnail. Four other children around the world have died since 1991.

Edgbaston's Labour MP Mrs Gisela Stuart has been leading a campaign against the confectionary.

She said: "There's no justification for the toys, other than being a marketing ploy, but why take that risk?"

"These are killer toys and they should be banned. The chocolate is fine but there is no need to put these little bits of plastic inside.

"If the little bits of plastic were sold separately without the chocolate they would never pass current safety regulations. It's a scandal."

The Birmingham-based Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents said it did not believe novelties and food mixed well, and the Kinder Surprise chocolate eggs did cause concern.

A spokesman said manufacturers had to look at a number of concerns with such toys, including the way they are packaged and the size of the warnings.

In a statement earlier this week, Kinder Surprise manufacturer Ferrero said: "The safety of its consumers is Ferrero's primary concern. All toys in Kinder Surprise eggs comply with relevant British and European standards.

"To achieve this, Ferrero commissions eight government-accredited international testing laboratories, two of which are located in England, to test the toys thoroughly to certify they comply with all relevant safety standards."

Consumer Affairs Minister Mr Kim Howells has said he wants to know if Ferrero had considered making the toys bigger.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Nov 28, 1998
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