This week, bloggers across the nation are taking to their keyboards to raise awareness of the mess that is the current Consumer Product Safety legislation regarding children’s products, and I’m joining them. Yesterday I started with an overview of the situation and an introduction to the Handmade Toy Alliance. I also hinted that Mattel was getting a free ride out of the legislation.
One of the biggest shockers coming down the pipe as of late in regards to the CPSIA was the announcement that Mattel, one of the biggest offenders in regards to producing poisonous toys, responsible for no less than 19 recalls in the past 5 years, would not be required to use independent, third party testing like the mom n pop shops would be.
“On Friday, however, the Consumer Product Safety Commission voted unanimously to approve Mattel’s request to use two more of its own company laboratories for the third-party checks on its toys.”
Yes, you heard me correctly, the fox is guarding the henhouse where your kids are playing. These same labs that allowed the dangerous products through in the first place have been deemed “rigorous” enough to to be exempt from these regulations that are about to crush many small businesses across the country. Oh, and over half those labs are overseas. In China.
So basically once again, the government is using a very real concern by the American people to draft legislation that practically rewards the corporations who created the hazards to begin with, while at the same time penalizing the indie businesses who were never part of the problem.
Do I sound angry? Well good. I think you should be too.
What would you rather give a child you care about?
1. A petroleum-laden plastic toy which promotes war and violence, will break, and is not repairable, which will wind up in a landfill within a couple of years, to sit and sit and sit, brightly colored for decades to come:
2. A one of a kind, hand crafted from natural materials toy that promotes the use of the imagination over prescribed tv-show scenarios. A toy that can be repaired repeatedly should it break, and one which your child will cherish for years, possibly well into adulthood where it might just get passed down to their child.
If you at least want the option to have the handmade toy, now is the time to get involved.
This page from the Handmade Toy Alliance is a great place to start.
Check back tomorrow for a little more on the eco-friendliness of handmade toys vs their plastic counterparts…