Monday, January 5, 2009

Save the toys!

So the internet, particularly the crafty mommas that I tend to follow, is all abuzz about this Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) potentially being put into effect.

I am not an expert but from my understanding this is what is happening. We all remember the lead toy problems from toys made in China. Well, Washington is going to save us all. They are going to do so by passing sweeping regulations that require every single toy maker to certify the safety and "lead-free" status of their product costing potentially $4000/item. To me that seems like a really passive aggressive approach. Instead of coming straight out and saying "Your product is dangerous!" they are punishing everyone.

And by everyone, I am most concerned about small business owners. Mom and Pop establishments that are the backbone to building and sustaining a solid economy. Money spent at M&P establishments stay in their community to strengthen and build it. I'm especially thinking of the mothers and fathers who make toys to supplement the family income. As it stands now, from my understanding, there is no provision excluding them from this regulation. I have to think that it's because they just don't make enough to demand it through lobbying.

I would imagine that the effect of exempting home-based toy businesses would be minuscule. And lets face it, the people buying home-based toys are typically buying them precisely because they are home based. We buy them because we can ask the person who made the item exactly how they made it and out of what materials.

In Ohio we have a cottage license for food production. Shelf stable foods can be labelled as being home produced and then it becomes a buyers choice. If we can have that for something we are actually meant to eat, isn't it reasonable to have that for a toy car? I have to think that any reasonable politician would see this as a happy middle ground.

So I think that we should all lobby for them. Call your representative and voice your concern about how this (CPSIA) will impact toys made domestically and small business owners. Ask specifically that home based businesses be protected. Thanks so much for listening... and hopefully (but doubtfully) I got this whole mess wrong and we can all return to regularly scheduled life ;)

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