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Chinese Olympic Mascot Toys Embroiled in Sweatshop Claims

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 25, 2012 11:01 AM

The Olympic motto is Citius, Altius, Fortius ("Faster, Higher, Stronger"), but perhaps the word “cheaper” should be added. Toy versions of the Olympic mascots Mandeville and Wenlock are being made at a Chinese subcontractor to British firm Golden Bear Toys, with the mainland China factor now being investigated for “poor pay and conditions.”

Telford, UK-based Golden Bear was given the toy contract back in 2010 and it is now investigating the allegations along with the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games, the BBC notes. "We are a family-run business that takes these issues very seriously indeed and has in place certificates of compliance at all factories used to produce our products," Golden Bear Chairman John Hales said in statement to the BBC. "We are therefore in the process of conducting an immediate investigation and will be able to comment on these findings as soon as they are known to us.”

A London 2012 spokesman said that results of the investigations would be made public as soon as they are concluded, the BBC reports.

Wenlock, named after the annual Wenlock Olympian Games that helped inspire the modern Games, and Mandeville, the mascot for the Paralympics that has been named after a famed British spinal-injuries hospital, will be made into stuffed animals, key rings, and backpacks by Golden Bear, the BBC notes.


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