CSPIA Update: There Was a Hearing, Apparently

One of the reasons the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act has proved to be such an inflexible and harmful law is that the legislative process the created never received the media and public scrutiny it should have. In the wake of the contaminated toys from China uproar, the major media did not examine the claims of legislative supporters and “consumer activists” and generally dismissed industry objections as greedy and self-serving.

So we can only sigh at reading this L.A. Times account of today’s hearing by the House Small Business Committee, subcommittee on investigations and oversight, on the CPSIA’s impact on small business. Maybe we’re overreacting and it’s just a blog post, and so a little jazzy writing is OK, but c’mon…

Congress pays attention to complaints about product safety law

Remember the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act?

Yeah, that’s right, the law that was passed in late 2007 after lawmakers started panicking about all the tainted toys ending up in children’s hands. The law that earlier this year almost prevented thrift stores from selling children’s clothes, made L.A.’s apparel industry and handmade toy manufacturers wonder whether they could stay in business and forced auto dealers to pull children’s motorcycles from showrooms.

Manufacturers want the law reversed, but environmentalists point out that lead and other chemicals are dangerous and shouldn’t end up in kids’ toys or clothes.

The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act was passed in July 2008 and signed into law on August 14, 2008.

Almost prevented thrift stores? Almost? The accounts of thrifts having actually removed baby’s clothes are legion, easily found online. Try here. Or here.

Manufacturers want the law reversed? Reversed? Find exactly where the NAM CPSC Coalition has asked for the law’s reversal. Delays in the effective date, yes. Recognition of the economic havoc the CPSIA has caused, yes. Amendments, revisions and more flexibility, yes. Call it, oh, reform.

“Environmentalists point out that lead and other chemicals are dangerous and shouldn’t end up in kids’ toys or clothes.” Uh, huh. That’s what the debate is about. Manufacturers wanting to put poison in kids toys over environmentalists’ objections.

At least, at least, the reporter notes that this is the first hearing by Congress on the implementation of the CPSIA, called by Rep. Jason Altmire (D-PA), who said, “Many small businesses, including those that sell products that do not pose a health risk, are facing significant losses as they struggle to meet a host of new, and often confusing, regulations.”

Seems like serious news, worth serious reporting.

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  • […] Downtown Los Angeles is home to an estimated 500 toy companies — most of them far smaller than crosstown giant Mattel — and they’re in much distress from the law. [Alexa Hyland, L.A. Business Journal] The L.A. Times, which once gave serious scrutiny to the law’s effects on the apparel and resale sectors, seems (scroll) to be dropping the ball. […]

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