Health Canada

Health Canada

June 21, 2013 10:46 ET

Harper Government Announces First-Ever Mandatory Recall for a Consumer Product

Dangerous Novelty Magnet Sets will be Removed from Marketplace

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - June 21, 2013) - Today, the Harper Government announced the first-ever mandatory recall in Canada for a consumer product. NeoMagnetic Gadgets Inc. was ordered to issue a recall and stop sale after the company failed to take voluntary action to remove their novelty magnet sets from the marketplace. These sets contain small, powerful magnets that can be easily swallowed by children.

In April, the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, announced to industry that the Government would take action to have some dangerous magnet sets removed from the marketplace. In May, the department also issued an advisory and a news release to warn the public about the dangers of these types of magnet sets.

"This first mandatory recall sends a strong message to industry that our Government is committed to protecting the health and safety of Canadians," said Minister Aglukkaq. "We will not hesitate to use our powers under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act to have dangerous products removed from store shelves."

NeoMagnetic Gadgets Inc. has complied with the order and a recall notice was published on Health Canada's website. Consumers should immediately stop using these products and follow instructions for their safe disposal.

If a company refuses to comply with an order, they can face daily fines of up to $25,000 until the product is removed from store shelves.

In Canada, the United States and other countries, there have been a number of cases of children requiring emergency surgical treatment to remove swallowed magnets from their intestines. When more than one powerful magnet is swallowed in a short period of time, the magnets can attract one another while moving through the intestines. This can cause the intestines to twist, creating blockages or tearing of the intestinal walls that can be very serious and life-threatening. For survivors, there can be serious lifelong health problems.

The CCPSA authorizes a range of compliance and enforcement actions, including recalls, seizures or prosecution. Orders can be issued to companies to recall unsafe products or to take measures such as stopping the sale, importation or manufacturing of a product. In the majority of cases, companies voluntarily take the action required to address the risk to Canadians.

For more information on the CCPSA, please visit Health Canada's Consumer Product Safety website.

For more information on the danger of swallowing magnets, please see Health Canada's Facts for Hazards of Ingesting Small Magnets.

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Contact Information

  • Media Inquiries:
    Health Canada
    (613) 957-2983

    Cailin Rodgers
    Office of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq
    Federal Minister of Health
    (613) 957-0200

    Public Enquiries:
    (613) 957-2991
    1-866 225-0709