By now, everyone in the toy industry has heard of the absurd junk science work done by poseur Dara O'Rourke. O'Rourke used X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (XRF) to measure antimony on the surface of the Zhu Zhu Pet Mr. Squiggles Toy Hamster, and determined that they exceeded federal standards.
However, this is nowhere near the correct way to do the test! In essence, what he did is the equivalent of touching a steak to determine if it is at the proper temperature, rather than using a thermometer.
After garnering all the publicity that could be mustered by attempting to take down the most popular toy of the season—and one that people can easily afford—the clueless O'Rourke had to issue a "correction."
Note that O'Rourke lists his credentials as follows:
Dr. Dara O'Rourke is a professor in the Dept. of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at UC Berkeley, and formerly a professor at MIT. He studies the environmental, social, and health impacts of global supply chains.
Too bad he doesn't know anything about appropriate testing methods, but runs half-ass tests, as part of his scare tactics. Aren't you glad that someone who didn't even take the time to check how the feds test a toy, before running his media scare, has had appointments at two prestigious universities?
This is very reminiscent of what the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics also does. For what it's worth, his pitiful lack of practical scientific knowledge, and lack of attention to detail, are pretty much in keeping with many of the green radicals.
Thankfully, the comments on GoodGuide's blog are almost completely negative.
That such a phenomenal mistake could have been made should destroy whatever credibility he still has, and I hope the Zhu Zhu people are considering litigation.