Swedish furniture giant IKEA has decided to recall 29 million Malm chests of drawers in the US and Canada, after the deaths of three children in the US.
IKEA has stopped selling the drawers in the US and Canada after they toppled over and crushed the children.
Initially, the furniture retailer warned consumers to use wall mounts with them, but a third death in February prompted the recall.
The units being withdrawn are children’s chests of drawers taller than 23.5 inches and adult chests of drawers and dressers taller than 29.5 inches.
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said in addition to the three deaths since 2014, IKEA received reports of 41 tip-over incidents involving the Malm chests and dressers, resulting in 17 injuries to children between the ages of 19 months and 10 years old.
IKEA said that anyone who owns one of the pieces of furniture, and has not attached it to a wall, should take it out of the reach of children.
Consumers can choose between a refund or a free wall-anchoring repair kit.
The deaths caused by the toppling furniture prompted the CPSC to launch an education campaign to promote awareness of the problem across the industry.
The company said that it would help to promote the campaign in the US and around the world.
IKEA said in a statement: “With the Secure it! campaign, launched globally in stores and on IKEA’s website, IKEA urges customers to inspect their chests of drawers and dressers and to ensure that they are securely anchored to the wall according to assembly instructions.”
IKEA is closing its lifestyle website in Russia over fears it could flout the country’s law banning the promotion of gay values to minors.
In a statement, the furniture giant said some articles in IKEA Family Live could be viewed in Russia as gay “propaganda”.
The controversial law was approved by President Vladimir Putin in 2013, drawing criticism from rights groups.
They say it has been used to ban gay rights events, a claim Russia denies.
In a statement, IKEA said: “When we do business, we observe the legislation of the countries where we work, therefore to avoid violations, we have taken the decision to stop publishing the magazine in Russia.”
It said the online magazine – which is published in 25 countries – “shows different aspects of people’s lives at home, regardless of their age, gender, s**ual orientation, nationality and religion”.
“The magazine reflects the values of the IKEA company, including equal rights and opportunities for all.”
IKEA’s press office in Russia stressed that the company had not received any official warnings in Russia related to the “gay propaganda” law, the AFP news agency reports.
Russian authorities have so far made not commented on IKEA’s move.
IKEA France directors are being investigated by French prosecutors over allegations that they snooped on employees and customers.
Chief executive Stefan Vanoverbeke, his predecessor Jean-Louis Baillo, and chief financial officer Dariusz Rychert were arrested on Monday.
They are accused of trying to obtain information on employees and customers from police files.
Similar legal action has been taken against at least two police officers.
The IKEA bosses face accusations of “complicity to collect personal data” and “complicity to violate professional secrecy”.
The move comes after police searched the company’s premises earlier this month.
The scandal first came to light last year after an IKEA insider leaked emails between the company and a security company to the satirical newspaper Le Canard Enchaine.
IKEA France directors are being investigated by French prosecutors over allegations that they snooped on employees and customers
The emails suggested that the firm was seeking access to records about its staff and customers from a police database holding millions of names and the personal information of criminals, victims and even witnesses.
Two unions have filed complaints against IKEA, accusing them of spying on hundreds of employees and customers over a period of five years.
Since January, 10 people have been placed under formal investigation including four police officers and the company’s former head of security.
Stefan Vanoverbek’s lawyer, Alexis Gulbin, said his “client totally disputes his involvement in this matter”.
“He’s calmly awaiting the next steps in the process. He was the one who took corrective measures as soon as the problems were discovered,” said Alexis Gulbin.
Last year IKEA France suspended and later fired its head of risk management and three of its senior directors.
Since then the company has also put in place a new code of conduct.
A spokeswoman for IKEA France said the firm was aware of the latest developments and would continue to assist the authorities.
Ikea has decided to withdraw nearly 18,000 of its elk meat lasagnes from sale in Europe after they were found to contain pork.
The Swedish company said sales were stopped in late March, and tests confirmed the contamination on Friday.
Ikea said the pork had no health risks, but that it did not “tolerate any other ingredients than the ones stipulated in our recipes or specifications”.
This is the latest in a series of meat contamination scandals across Europe.
Ikea has decided to withdraw nearly 18,000 of its elk meat lasagnes from sale in Europe after they were found to contain pork
Ikea was among several companies whose meat products were found to contain horsemeat. Earlier this year it withdrew its meatballs from sale in its restaurants and grocery departments.
In a statement, the furniture giant said sales of the Lasagne Alg – elk lasagne – were suspended last month after Belgian authorities detected pork in them.
Further tests were carried out, and Ikea confirmed that one batch of the lasagne made by the suppliers Familjen Dafgard, with an expiry date in January 2014, contained 1.4% pork.
A total of 17,600 lasagnes have been removed from the shelves.
Swedish newspaper the Local quoted the meat suppliers as saying the contamination was due to its facilities not being cleaned properly between the handling of different animals and that it was taking steps to improve its practices.
“Together with our supplier, we have implemented improvements to ensure that our products should not contain any other ingredients than those declared on the packages,” said the Ikea statement.
“Ikea is committed to serving and selling high-quality food that is safe, healthy and produced with care for the environment and the people who produce it.”
Ikea has decided to withdraw a type of almond cake from its restaurants after samples were found to be contaminated by coliform bacteria.
Traces of the bacteria were found in two batches of the cake that came from a Swedish supplier and went through Ikea’s health checks.
The cake has been withdrawn from 23 countries, said the furniture company.
None of the infected batches had gone on sale, Ikea said.
Ikea added that no pathogenic bacteria, such as E coli – which is considered dangerous to humans – had been found in the affected cake.
Last month Ikea withdrew meatballs from sale in some of its restaurants after it was suspected they contained traces of horse DNA.
The meatballs in 1kg packs were made in Sweden, and labelled as beef and pork.
Ikea has decided to withdraw a type of almond cake from its restaurants after samples were found to be contaminated by coliform bacteria
The latest withdrawal comes after Chinese quarantine officials confirmed that 1,872 kg of chocolate almond cake imported by the Swedish company had been destroyed.
The Swedish company said there was no health risk associated with consuming the contaminated product.
“Traces of coliform bacteria have been found in two isolated production batches of almond cake with chocolate and butterscotch, produced for the Restaurant, from one supplier in Sweden,” said an Ikea statement.
“The production batches have, as per safety and quality routines, been tested for bacteria that can cause health issues, such as E coli, and none of these pathogen bacteria have been found.
“However, since the product does not comply with our strict food quality standards we have decided to withdraw the concerned production batches from sale in the 23 affected countries.”
Ikea has stores in 38 countries. The company’s net profits rose 8% to 3.2 billion euros over the 2011-12 financial year.
Ikea has decided to halt sales of its meatballs in Sweden after meatballs set for sale at its stores in the Czech Republic were found to contain horsemeat.
The discovery comes as European Union agriculture ministers meet in Brussels for talks widely expected to focus on the growing horsemeat scandal.
Inspectors in the Czech Republic said horsemeat was found in meatballs made in Sweden labelled as beef and pork.
The scandal began last month with frozen meals and burgers.
It spread from the UK and Ireland, with traces of horsemeat and horse DNA being found in food across the EU.
Supermarkets across Europe have had to withdraw affected prepared meals from their shelves.
Some 760kg (1,675 lb) of the Swedish-style meatballs were intercepted and stopped from reaching Czech shelves, officials told the Associated Press.
Horsemeat was also found in beef burgers imported from Poland, the Czech State Veterinary Administration said.
The labelling of the origin of meat and the traceability of the products will be high on the agenda at the EU ministers meeting.
Ikea has decided to halt sales of its meatballs in Sweden after meatballs set for sale at its stores in the Czech Republic were found to contain horsemeat
Europe’s food retailers depend on a complex network of brokers, cold stores and meat-cutting plants around the continent from which to source the ingredients wherever they are cheapest.
The evidence of the past few weeks shows that national food safety authorities have failed to identify a problem in the supply chain over a significant period of time, he adds.
While the original agenda of the EU meeting included support for rural communities and the common fisheries policy, it is expected ministers will now try to come up with measures to tackle the horsemeat scandal.
Those could include a pan-European labelling project for frozen food, a move which has the backing of France and Germany.
Paris and Berlin both want compulsory labelling and traceability.
At least a dozen countries are involved in the horsemeat affair, which implicates some of the biggest meat processors and food producers.
Italy joined the list on Saturday, reporting horsemeat in some lasagne products.
On Friday, Germany’s consumer affairs ministry announced it had found traces of horse DNA in 67 of 830 food products tested.
Irish authorities on Friday suspended production at one processing plant after horsemeat was found labelled as beef.
IKEA has said it “deeply regrets” the use of forced labor by political prisoners in communist East Germany.
The Swedish furniture giant asked accountants Ernst & Young to look into the matter, dating back to the 1970s.
The study, now published, indicates that political and criminal prisoners were involved in manufacturing for IKEA suppliers.
It also said that IKEA representatives at the time knew that political prisoners were possibly used.
IKEA gave contracts to the East German government in the 1970s.
Former political prisoners of the Stasi, the feared secret police, said they worked on the furniture, prompting IKEA to commission the Ernst & Young report.
Those former prisoners may now expect compensation.
“We deeply regret that this could happen. Using political prisoners in production has never been accepted within the IKEA Group,” said Jeanette Skjelmose, IKEA’s sustainability manager.
IKEA has said it deeply regrets the use of forced labor by political prisoners in communist East Germany
The company said that although it took steps to try to ensure that prisoners were not used in production, “it is now clear that these measures were not effective enough”.
Jeanette Skjelmose added that IKEA now had one of the most rigorous codes of conduct for suppliers and this, together with close co-operation with suppliers and external inspections, effectively reduced the risk of something similar happening again.
“IKEA had contracts with GDR Enterprises to produce their furniture here,” said Dr. Hubertus Knabe, director of the Stasi Prison Memorial, a former prison that has been turned into a museum.
“They didn’t ask who were producing their furniture and under what kind of conditions,” he said prior to the report being published.
“In each case you are responsible [for] with whom you are dealing and if you are dealing with dictatorship, if you don’t have a look under what kind of conditions your furniture is produced, then you are responsible for that.”
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