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Children’s game recalled in Hungary after drug scare

A children’s game has been recalled from shelves in Hungary after it was discovered that beads used in it could metabolize into a date-rape drug, the local distributor of the Bindeez game said on Thursday.

Zsuzsanna Szigeti told online news site index.hu that all of the Bindeez games had been removed from supermarkets and called on the 25,000 people who had already purchased one to take it back to where they bought it.

The move came after two toddlers required hospital treatment in Australia after ingesting beads used in the game. Small colored beads are stuck together in the game to form shapes and then made to bind using water. However, these beads apparently contain a chemical that reacts with stomach acid to form a drug known as gamma-hydroxy-butyrate, or fantasy.

The compound, which is classified as a date-rape drug, can induce unconsciousness, seizures, drowsiness, coma and even death. Nonetheless, Szigeti said that the game was not dangerous, and insisted that the problem occurred because children below the recommended age were allowed to play with it unsupervised. The two children who ate the beads were below the recommended age for the game, which is 4 and over.

The game has been pulled from the shelves in Australia and the United States as well as Hungary, and other nations said they were conducting reviews of the product. Bindeez, which won Toy of the Year at this year’s Melbourne Toy and Hobby Fair, is produced by Melbourne-based Moose Enterprises but is manufactured in China.

China’s reputation as a toy-manufacturer has suffered in recent months after a string of quality problems with exports to Europe and the US. Chinese authorities last week suspended or revoked the export licenses of 764 toy factories in a southern Chinese province in an attempt to solve the problem. (monstersandcritics)