Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Law of Unintended Consequences: CPSIA

You may have heard rumblings about the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act and its potentially huge impact on businesses small and large that make products for children under 12. Today many bloggers are posting about this badly written law which will go into effect on February 10th.

Here's an excerpt from an excellent Forbes article on the subject.

"As CPSIA opponents mobilize, the phrase "unintended consequences" is often heard. Part of the irony, after all, is that the Hasbros and Targets, with their standardization and economies of scale, can afford to adapt to such rules as part of their business plan, while the sorts of enterprises that initially looked to benefit most from the Chinese toy scare--local, organic and so forth--are also the ones who find it hardest to comply.

But the failure here runs deeper. This was not some enactment slipped through in the dead of night: It was one of the most highly publicized pieces of legislation to pass Congress last year.

And yet now it appears precious few lawmakers took the time to check what was in the bill, while precious few in the press (which ran countless let's-pass-a-law articles) cared to raise even the most basic questions about what the law was going to require.

Yes, something's being exposed as systematically defective here. But it's not the contents of our kids' toy chests. It's the way we make public policy."

You can also read the full text of the law here. And here's a letter you can send your congressman. You could also buy an endangered handmade childrens item to show your support, like the beautiful hand painted onesies Amy and her sister make over at Green Seam.


myminimocs said...

excellent blog - together hopefully this will have an impact!!!

Winklepots said...

Wonderful blog post about this horrible law and it's affects. Thank you so much for drawing attention to it.

Michelle said...

man, those people make me want to spit teeth

ElegantSnobbery said...

Fantastic post!! I'm just completely shocked that this has gone as far as it has and my fingers are crossed that it gets amended soon!! Good luck to all of us!

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