Handmade Toy Alliance

Handmade toys may soon be illegal in the United States.

That's the bad news. The good news is that they would already be illegal, if toymakers and others hadn't gotten together and fought back. Now they need our help.

Illegal handmade toys?

Illegal handmade toys may sound like an embarrassing attempt at satire. Or the more embarrassing ravings of an unembarrassed consipracy theorist. But it's the sober fact. As the toymakers explain:

In 2007, large toy manufacturers who outsource their production to China and other developing countries violated the public's trust. They were selling toys with dangerously high lead content, toys with unsafe small part, toys with improperly secured and easily swallowed small magnets, and toys made from chemicals that made kids sick. Almost every problem toy in 2007 was made in China.

The United States Congress rightly recognized that the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) lacked the authority and staffing to prevent dangerous toys from being imported into the US. So, they passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) in August, 2008. Among other things, the CPSIA bans lead and phthalates in toys, mandates third-party testing and certification for all toys and requires toy makers to permanently label each toy with a date and batch number.

All of these changes will be fairly easy for large, multinational toy manufacturers to comply with. Large manufacturers who make thousands of units of each toy have very little incremental cost to pay for testing and update their molds to include batch labels.

For small toymakers and manufacturers of children's products, however, the costs of mandatory testing will likely drive them out of business.

A toymaker, for example, who makes wooden cars in his garage in Maine to supplement his income cannot afford the $300 - $4,000 fee per toy that testing labs are charging to assure compliance with the CPSIA.

Precisely because the toys are handmade, the new law requires that they be tested individually. At $300 to $4,000 per toy.

This is beyond Kafkaesque. Because factories in China were churning out poisoned toys by the thousands, you can't make and sell a wooden car in your garage.

Get more details here: http://www.handmadetoyalliance.org

Yes, we need to make sure more kids don't get poisoned by their toys. But let's focus on the source of the problem -- toxic mass-produced junk from Chinese factories.

If we had any real national conscience about conditions for workers besides ourselves, we wouldn't be buying from most of these sweatshops anyway. Maybe all this can be a catalyst towards change on that front too.

Fighting back

Independent toymakers aren't the only ones who've resisted this new law. Garment makers and even the publishing industry are also threatened by the insanely expensive requirements.

Together, these people have gotten a stay of execution for one year. That's right -- the original deadline for mandatory testing got pushed back a year. Because people resisted.

So let's help keep pushing till we topple the guillotine. Here's how you can help:

http://www.handmadetoyalliance.org/how-you-can-help

This page includes a petition (watch your step after you sign it -- the third-party petition site asks for a donation). Also includes a sample letter to your Congressfolk, and a link to contact the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission about CPSIA.

It'll take maybe five or ten minutes. Thanks. :)

Creative Commons License
Content by Bill Powell in this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

3 comments:

Jack Reylan Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 4:41:00 PM CDT  

China has just started using biologically cloned humanoid drones in its factories and military to counter population aging from one child policy. This biocloning was started by Tong Dizhou in the early 1990s to produce star athletes but was later taken up by the PLA military. The clones are grown in the wombs of slave women from allied African dictators. and have been known to appear on American soil as illegal workers. Food and Drug Administration investigators say the Chinese spiked pet food with melamine so that they would appear in tests to have more value as protein products. They sell drywall which emit suflide fumes! Given their blatant disregard for American safey in products they sell, because they don't care if we stay alive after we enrich them, it is worrisome that these clones have not been adequately tested for potential disease transmission. Why aren't anti-American professors who were hawking phoney Japanese "quality" complaining about their fellow reds in China? China has always believed in war by stealth, in avoid open conflict, stabbing you in the back while full of smiles.

JimB Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 8:16:00 PM CDT  

"Those who attempt to ride the back of the tiger...end up inside" - JFK

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