Rick Woldenberg of Learning Resources Inc. just refuses to let the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act beat him into submission, two-and-a-half years after the law began producing all sorts of economic mayhem to the benefit of no one save lawyers and “consumer activists.” In The Hill, Rick writes about last week’s House committee hearing on the draft legislation to repair the fatally flawed law. From “Enough already! It’s time to amend the lead law“:
As directed by Congress, the CPSC has dutifully banned the sale of rhinestones to children, ended the era of youth model ATVs and forbidden the use of brass bushings in toy car wheel assemblies. Why? They might emit a single atom of lead! The supporters of the law justify these extreme actions on the grounds that lead is a poison but somehow overlook that kids are exposed to more lead every day from eating a snack, drinking water or playing outside in the fresh air. The descent into regulation purgatory is down a slippery slope.
Being governed by this law can give you fits. For example, to be able to continue to legally sell our geology kits to schools (featuring real rocks!), we must give this warning: “Caution: Federal law requires us to advise that the rocks in this educational product may contain lead and might be harmful if swallowed.” We don’t relish looking like idiots at the hand of the U.S. government.
We’re certainly not alone in feeling the pain. The law affects many safe products spanning the U.S. economy, like books, t-shirts and shoes, ATVs and dirt bikes, bicycles, donated or resale goods, musical instruments, pens and educational products. The number of companies touched by the CPSIA is in the many thousands.
For more from Rick, a REAL consumer activist, see his AmendtheCPSIA.com blog.
We reported on the House hearing last week here and here. Walter Olson has more at Overlawyered.com, “CPSIA: ‘Toymakers Would Get Relief Under Republican Plan’.”