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A humble toilet brush has beaten stiff competition to win US consumer watchdog group M-LAW's "Wacky Warning Label" contest. The offending item comes complete with the caveat "Do not use for personal hygiene" - a piece of advice sufficiently stupid to impress the jury of listeners of Detroit radio station, WOMC-FM.

This year's contest - the eighth - attracted hundreds of entries from across the US. Runner-up position on the podium was occupied by a kids' scooter which declared: "This product moves when used." Third place went to a warning on a digital thermometer stating: "Once used rectally, the thermometer should not be used orally."

Fourth spot was finally secured by a hand-held blender label wisely counselling: "Never remove food or other items from the blades while the product is operating."

M-LAW prez, Robert B. Dorigo, sighed: "Warning labels are a sign of our lawsuit-plagued times. From the moment we raise our head in the morning off pillows that bear those famous ‘Do Not Remove’ warnings, to when we drop back in bed at night, we are overwhelmed with warnings.

"Plaintiff’s lawyers who file the lawsuits that prompt these warnings argue they are making us safer, but the warnings have become so long that few of us read them anymore - even the ones we should read. Hopefully, M-LAW’s Wacky Warning Label Contest will motivate everyone to read their warnings again, and maybe even motivate judges to get tougher on frivolous lawsuits," he concluded. ®

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