FDA warns: Unauthorized 'lato-lato' toys are possible health hazards

James Relativo - Philstar.com
FDA warns: Unauthorized 'lato-lato' toys are possible health hazards
Photo shows a lato-lato toy sold online
Released / Food and Drug Administration

MANILA, Philippines — The Food and Drug Administration cautioned the public from purchasing and using "unnotified" lato-lato toys sold to the public — a product which they say could lead to potential hazards due to lack of proper authorization from experts.

In its Advisory 2023-1299, the FDA identified a certain glow-in-the-dark lato-lato toy being sold by a Shoppee store online, stating that the product showed no valid certificate of product notification.

"[T]he manufacture, importation, exportation, sale, offering for sale, distribution, transfer, non-consumer use, promotion, advertising, or sponsorship of any health product without the proper authorization from the FDA is prohibited," said the agency in a statement signed last Tuesday.

"Since the abovementioned unnotified toy and childcare article product has not gone through the notification process of the FDA, the agency cannot assure their quality and safety. The use of such violative product may pose health risks to consumers."



Lato-lato, also known as "clackers," "clankers" or "ker-bangers," are toys popular in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The plaything is currently enjoying a resurgence in popularity in Indonesia and the Philippines in the late 2022 and 2023.

The items are composed of two plastic spheres suspended on a single string which makes a loud clacking sound when swung up and down.

According to the FDA, potential hazards may come from ingredients that are not allowed to be a part of a toy including but not limited to:

  • endocrine disruption
  • reproductive effects
  • development effects

The public is also warned of possible injuries, choking or suffucation arising from its small or broken parts.

"In light of the foregoing, the public is advised not to purchase the aforementioned violative toy and childcare article product," the FDA added.

"All concerned establishments are warned not to distribute violative toy and childcare article product until they have fully complied with the rules and regulation of the FDA."

The public could check if a product is notified with the FDA by using their verification portal accessible at this link.

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