Sunday, January 11, 2009

Bad Toy Laws

You know those neat little stores that sell “smart” kid’s toys? Those little handmade wooden toy trains or cars? The ones you may have had as a kid that were indestructible and are probably still sitting in a closet somewhere?


How about the science store at the mall? With all those cool science toys that are made by small companies trying to educate children with the wonderment of the world around them rather than pander to their base desires with things like “Bratz” or anything promoted by Mylie Cyrus?


How about the stores that sell on consignment locally made items of clothing, furniture, or yes, even toys?


Thrift stores? New and gently used stores? Flea markets? Farmer’s bazaars? Trade shows? Antique malls?

Gone, gone, and let’s just say for the rest, “never the same”.

Why, you ask? Well…

In 2007, we had the Chinese Toy Scare. Christmas was a time for families, chestnuts on the open fire, and “Made in China” label checking. Kids were going into comas after consuming, licking, or inhaling small pieces of various things made for them by political prisoners in China. My questioning of parental supervision aside, this was and is a bad thing.

Fast forward to now and we have HR 4040, The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008.

In short it has decreed that all toys made for children under the age of 12 shall be tested for various toxic substances prior to their sale. It does not grandfather anything. It could encompass even clothing and household items such as bed sheets and rugs.

So far, “not so bad”? "What’s wrong with that?" Well…

The tests cost $500 to $4,000 EACH ITEM.

I’m only assuming here, but large corporations can have a batch tested and the rest taken on good faith I suppose, but small companies like those listed above will have to have everything in their inventory tested at massive cost.

It will put a lot of small business owners out of business, or at the very least remove the lucrative child market from their sales plans.

This is what happens when Legislators act in a knee-jerk fashion to a threat. I can not propose a single good idea about what else they are supposed to do to combat the problem, but this is not it.

You can protest this travesty before it becomes law. Click here to send an e-mail to the Consumer Product Safety Commission's Office of the Secretary. (If the link doesn't work, look up the site on Google or some such...) You only have until January 20th to do so.

Funny thing is, in this economy, there’s some expression about an infant and it’s lavatorial liquid that springs readily to mind…

H/T: Duane Lester and Right Wing News