March 18, 2009 / 2:26 AM / in 9 years

State Farm recalls promotional bears over hazard

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. insurer State Farm said on Tuesday that more than 800,000 teddy bears given out in North America as part of a company promotion were being recalled because of a choking hazard.

<p>A State Farm Good Neigh Bear plush toy is seen in this undated handout image. REUTERS/State Farm/Handout</p>

The toys, called the “State Farm Good Neigh Bear”, sporting a t-shirt emblazoned with the company’s logo, were given out by agents of the insurer between 2005 and 2007, the company said in a statement.

State Farm said it was cooperating with the recall of the plush toys, issued by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, while Health Canada issued a recall for about 27,000 of the bears.

A company spokesman was not available to comment beyond the statement. The toys were made in China.

The teddy bears were deemed hazardous after State Farm received a report of a plastic eye coming off a bear and a child placing it in her mouth. No injuries have been reported, State Farm said.

State Farm, a mutual insurer that used the marketing slogan “Like a good neighbor State Farm is there”, is a Fortune 500 company that sells auto, fire, life and health insurance to 78 million policyholders in the United States and Canada.

Reporting by Lilla Zuill; Editing by Toin Reinhold

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