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Graco says it told U.S. consumer watchdog about recalled bassinets

The Associated Press

Graco Children's Products said Thursday that it alerted federal authorities that bassinets sold under its name were identical to some being recalled late last month, but federal officials apparently did not alert the public until late Thursday.

The incident was first reported in The Chicago Tribune on Thursday.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a voluntary recall on Aug. 28 for 900,000 Simplicity brand bassinets, because they had a dangerous design linked to the deaths of two babies.

Graco spokeswoman Stacy Becker confirmed that the company alerted the commission on that date that some Graco bassinets made until 2004 were identical to some of the models the agency identified in its safety alert.

About 200,000 of the Simplicity-made bassinets recalled last month may have carried the Graco brand name under a licensing agreement it struck with Simplicity, which has since gone out of business.

However, those Graco bassinets were only added to the Simplicity recall on Thursday, along with a recall on some Winnie the Pooh motif bassinets licensed by Disney Consumer Products.

Julie Vallese, a spokeswoman for the CPSC, said Graco licensed its name to Simplicity and Simplicity made the bassinets. Disney had also licensed its Winnie the Pooh brand to Simplicity, she said.

When the agency issued the recall on Aug. 28, Vallese said, "we did not know that there was other product manufactured by Simplicity for other companies."

"CPSC does not withhold vital safety information from the public," Vallese said.

She said shortly after the recall announcement, the agency was notified by Graco and concern was raised by some retailers that other Simplicity products might contain the same defect.

The agency received confirmation Wednesday that of "900,000 Simplicity bassinets, included in that number was product manufactured by Simplicity for Graco and for the Winnie the Pooh brand," she said.

The Simplicity bassinets with the Graco logo were sold from 2001-2004. The Simplicity bassinets with the Winnie the Pooh motif on its bedding were sold from 2002-2008.

Vallese said the agency contacted Disney about the Winnie the Pooh bassinets, and the company confirmed Wednesday that it had licensed the brand to Simplicity.

Graco put a safety alert on its website Thursday about the bassinets. Consumers are urged to return the bassinets to retailers where they bought them for a refund or store credit.

SFCA Inc., the company that purchased the assets of Reading, Pa.-based Simplicity Inc. earlier this year, maintains that it is not responsible for products previously manufactured by Simplicity.

Recall notice