Friday, January 23, 2009

Controversy regarding the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act

The "Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008” was enacted last summer to permanently ban the sale of toys and child care products that contain certain phthalates and lead after February 10, 2009. Unfortunately, the implementation of the law has not been going as smoothly as expected. (See here and here.) Forbes magazine has published an article attacking the law titled "Scrap The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act." (The article is published in two parts, available here and here.) It argues, among other things, that "the testing requirements of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) threaten to drive out of business tens of thousands of small makers of children's products; the law also menaces thrift shops with legal liability if they deal in children's secondhand goods, whether or not those goods put any child at real risk." In response, the Pop Tort Blog has posted a short comment. In part, it says: "Business groups have always hated this law. But now, they are in full hyperbolic rage because of the difficulty some small business are having complying right away. Consider the recent Forbes magazine piece called “Scrap The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act” by a Manhattan Institute fellow, who also called it “on one of the worst pieces of legislation I’ve seen in many a year.” "Gee, let’s see, a bill that makes sure children are no longer lead poisoned from chewing their Mattel toys, that was so thoroughly studied and dissected that it took months to write, was agreed to by both parties in Congress, and then passed the Senate 89-3, the House 424-1, and signed by President Bush, of all people – oh, the horror." The comment is available here.

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