CPSIA Update: Ultimately, the Lawmakers are Responsible

By March 9, 2009Economy, Regulations

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports on children’s off-road motorbikes being pulled off the market because of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. The CPSC says, “Our hands are tied.” Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), a sponsor, says, “No they’re not.” Seems beside the point.

From”Zero tolerance for lead sidelining kids“:

“Our hands are tied,” said Joseph Martyak, acting director of public affairs for the safety commission. “The agency can only [exempt] if the product will not result in the absorption of ‘any’ lead in the human body. … That is the crux.”

The commission says the law’s limits are so tight that even tiny amounts of lead in pre-1985 children’s books and in metal stems on bicycle tires can leave enough of a trace on children’s fingers to violate the new standards.

What’s more, agency officials say they told Congress they would have to interpret the law this way. But Congress passed it anyway.

The bill’s sponsors, including Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, are equally adamant that such an absolute interpretation was not what they intended in the 2008 Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act.

“Their hands are not tied,” Klobuchar said. “We gave the commission the power to implement common-sense rules. Congress never intended it to be interpreted this way.

“We never thought children were going to be sucking on brake handles.”

If lawmakers think the statute’s language is being misinterpreted, then it is in their power to CHANGE the language. Let’s have hearings, a new bill, legislation that exempts the products that need to be exempted and stops the destruction of children’s clothes, children’s books, jewelry and other products.

Hat tip to Hugh Hewitt, lawyer and talk show host, who comments in “More CPSIA Insanity“:

Too bad for manufacturers, retailers and consumers that the Congress did –surprise– a lousy job in drafting the draconian law.  Unfortunately, the law also empowers plaintiffs’ lawyers to sue non-compliant companies, so Senator Klobuchar’s protestations of innocence do nothing for those thousands of businesses seeing hundreds of millions of dollars of superb product go to waste.

For more coverage, as always, head to Overlawyered.com, chronicling the inexcusable. For example, “CPSIA: throwing away 500 stuffed animals“:

No, discarding 500 once-loved stuffed animals doesn’t really amount to much of a story amid scenes of billion-dollar disruptions caused by this law elsewhere around the country. But if you’re one of the people who run the Second Fling consignment shop in Goldsboro, N.C., it might still seem kind of sad.

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Tristan Benz says:

    For all those in Congress looking to “save face” – here’s your opening! And, for all who decide to continue to insist on the law as passed, I again say, any law that takes a nation by surprise cannot possibly be born of the will of WE the people.

    As a mompreneur with a pro-parent / pro-childhood company, I have been three times violated by CPSIA:

    1) my authority as a parent and citizen (per above and per “Mother Approved” being effectively replaced by “Big Brother Approved”

    2) my business being devastated (Maiden America) – I had JUST gotten to the point where it was really taking off when this reared its ugly head. I hire moms / miltary wives and support creating jobs that allow us to be at HOME with our children, shaping their character, on behalf of MY COUNTRY. The handmade industry has been killed off – these jobs are primarily filled by WOMEN and are now, apparently, disposable.

    3) my own passion for safety – for children and environment alike. CPSIA fails to address real sources of lead threat (google lead poisoning prevention and see what is listed under sources). As NPR reports, phthalates are being replaced by OTHER CHEMICALS – one of which is known to cause kidney damage in rats. And just how does it serve our children to have landfills filled with stuff deemed “toxic” – does it not eventually seep into our groundwater?

    No common sense. No regard for small business, citizens, parents and women. I’ve been actively campaigning against CPSIA (videos on You Tube under Power2Parents – see what I’ve been pushed to do?! and blog posts galore, as others are doing, as well).

    I’m so GLAD to see indications of a growing voice actually being heard by our public servants. It will only be icing on the cake to see more of them taking advantage of this window of opportunity to “save face” and change CPSIA per OUR WILL.

    Thanks for the great post!
    Warm Regards,
    Tristan Benz
    Maiden America

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