The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned the public against buying certain types of lato-lato, a clacking toy that consists of two balls and a string.
In Advisory No. 2023-1299 dated June 13 and published June 16, the FDA mentioned a product labeled as “Lato Lato Toys With Handle Glow In The Dark Latto Latto Toy Toy Tok Tok Old School Toy Etek Toy Lato Lato Makasar," as seen on an e-commerce platform.
In Advisory No. 2023-1301, meanwhile, the agency warned about an unlabeled green lato-lato with no local company responsible for placing the product on the market, address, lot/batch number, manufacturer, and expiration date.
The agency said that the mentioned toys don't have a valid certificate of product notification, which is an FDA requirement for product selling and distribution.
Without the certificate, the FDA said it cannot assure their quality and safety. It noted that there may be health risks, like endocrine disruption, reproductive or developmental effects, injury, choking, or suffocation due to small or broken parts.
"All concerned establishments are warned not to distribute violative toy and childcare article products until they have fully complied with the rules and regulations of the FDA," the agency said.
The toy, which was popular in the 1960s, has recently made a comeback in the Philippines. It even became a challenge on TikTok.
BAN Toxics, an independent non-government environmental organization, issued a statement last May 23 against selling lato-lato toys.
“Parents should be warned of the potential dangers of the lato-lato toy to their kid's health and safety. These should be removed from stores near schools,” said Thony Dizon of BAN Toxics.
Moreover, the toy was banned in the US, Canada, and the UK because it caused injuries and accidents, and contributed to sound pollution.