Online Payday Loans No Fax Online Payday Loans No Fax

CPSIA – Reaction to my Testing Guidance Comments

On November 11, I published my thoughts on the recently-announced Testing Guidance. These guidelines will be the subject of the upcoming two-day workshop at the CPSC on Dec. 10/11.

In my blogpost, I noted that children’s products with paint require independent testing while painted non-children’s products used in the home and around children only require a GCC, no testing. That makes NO sense to me, as explained in my blogpost.

I received a series of emails from a regular reader of this space, someone with a great deal of expertise in the CPSC and its practices. Let’s just say, this person knows quite a bit more than me. Here’s what my reader said in reply to this essay:

“I think the implication that children’s products needed some special class of testing by someone other than the manufacturer was highly questionable to begin with. (Put another way, why should we distrust children’s product manufacturers? Or in the alternative, is the risk from such products really so much higher that special safeguards were necessary? In truth, most of the serious injuries and deaths that led to recalls were because of defects and not because of non-compliance with rules that you could test for.)

. . . .

Unfortunately, there seems to be a national trend–including other agencies and state and local governments–of legislating requirements based on junk science disseminated by interest groups. This leads not only to incredible costs, or loss of product for consumers, but diverts the attention and resources of the agencies from their core mission of reducing deaths, injury, and illness. That is the ultimate irony here: that in promoting safety some of these presumably well intentioned people are in fact likely decreasing the public safety.”

Score one for people that actually know what they’re talking about! Couldn’t say it better myself (although I have been trying for about a year).

Read more here:
CPSIA – Reaction to my Testing Guidance Comments

CPSIA – Reaction to my Testing Guidance Comments

On November 11, I published my thoughts on the recently-announced Testing Guidance. These guidelines will be the subject of the upcoming two-day workshop at the CPSC on Dec. 10/11.

In my blogpost, I noted that children’s products with paint require independent testing while painted non-children’s products used in the home and around children only require a GCC, no testing. That makes NO sense to me, as explained in my blogpost.

I received a series of emails from a regular reader of this space, someone with a great deal of expertise in the CPSC and its practices. Let’s just say, this person knows quite a bit more than me. Here’s what my reader said in reply to this essay:

“I think the implication that children’s products needed some special class of testing by someone other than the manufacturer was highly questionable to begin with. (Put another way, why should we distrust children’s product manufacturers? Or in the alternative, is the risk from such products really so much higher that special safeguards were necessary? In truth, most of the serious injuries and deaths that led to recalls were because of defects and not because of non-compliance with rules that you could test for.)

. . . .

Unfortunately, there seems to be a national trend–including other agencies and state and local governments–of legislating requirements based on junk science disseminated by interest groups. This leads not only to incredible costs, or loss of product for consumers, but diverts the attention and resources of the agencies from their core mission of reducing deaths, injury, and illness. That is the ultimate irony here: that in promoting safety some of these presumably well intentioned people are in fact likely decreasing the public safety.”

Score one for people that actually know what they’re talking about! Couldn’t say it better myself (although I have been trying for about a year).

Read more here:
CPSIA – Reaction to my Testing Guidance Comments

CPSIA – Reaction to my Testing Guidance Comments

On November 11, I published my thoughts on the recently-announced Testing Guidance. These guidelines will be the subject of the upcoming two-day workshop at the CPSC on Dec. 10/11.

In my blogpost, I noted that children’s products with paint require independent testing while painted non-children’s products used in the home and around children only require a GCC, no testing. That makes NO sense to me, as explained in my blogpost.

I received a series of emails from a regular reader of this space, someone with a great deal of expertise in the CPSC and its practices. Let’s just say, this person knows quite a bit more than me. Here’s what my reader said in reply to this essay:

“I think the implication that children’s products needed some special class of testing by someone other than the manufacturer was highly questionable to begin with. (Put another way, why should we distrust children’s product manufacturers? Or in the alternative, is the risk from such products really so much higher that special safeguards were necessary? In truth, most of the serious injuries and deaths that led to recalls were because of defects and not because of non-compliance with rules that you could test for.)

. . . .

Unfortunately, there seems to be a national trend–including other agencies and state and local governments–of legislating requirements based on junk science disseminated by interest groups. This leads not only to incredible costs, or loss of product for consumers, but diverts the attention and resources of the agencies from their core mission of reducing deaths, injury, and illness. That is the ultimate irony here: that in promoting safety some of these presumably well intentioned people are in fact likely decreasing the public safety.”

Score one for people that actually know what they’re talking about! Couldn’t say it better myself (although I have been trying for about a year).

Read more here:
CPSIA – Reaction to my Testing Guidance Comments

CPSIA – Consumer Groups are Grasping at Straws

Last week, in their usual pre-Xmas slanderfest, the full range of consumer groups unleashed their annual list of bad and dangerous toy lists on a pandering media. The pickin’s were slim this year, but that didn’t stop them.

I have heard from friends outside the toy industry who expressed horror and disbelief at these widely-publicized attacks. Toy industry insiders are used to it, frankly. Actually, speaking candidly, some of these annual efforts are useful and appreciated. I think that bad products (generally reflecting poor judgment, nothing more venal than that) have been usefully exposed by these groups in the past. However, of late the consumer groups have been obsessed by “toxics” – pushing the notion that toys are poisonous, rather than simply irresponsibly-designed. I think the reason is simple – the media and reactive politicians respond to this accusation, so why give up a “good thing”? You have to wonder if their goal is to simply make toys safer. Their attacks are remain more vicious than in the past and much more pointed.

The consumer group continue to package the idea that consumers do not realize that “no government agency tests toys before they are put on the shelves.” This self-declared “fact” is an essential justification of their “precautionary principle” – that is, we need an activist government approving everything before you get your hands on it. President Obama’s assertion on Late Night with David Letterman that we need a lot more government these days is right in line with the precautionary principle. Others call this movement the Nanny State.

The precautionary principle holds that no risk is too small to address – in advance. Thus, the neurosis underlying the assertion that Americans think the government must be “testing” toys before they are sold is the same as Consumer Union’s David Pittle’s admission in the TSCP hearing (beginning at about 90 minutes in the video) that he is “nervous” when he buys a toy (not sure what or whom to trust), and ergo, his rules for how manufacturers run their businesses must be imposed. Mr. Pittle’s demands seem designed to relieve his anxieties, rather than improve safety. [He might contend that it is one and the same but I disagree.] Inciting terror through various means, the consumer groups place a real emphasis on how consumers FEEL and whether products and their manufacturers have earned consumer confidence (an emotional standard), not whether (objectively or actually), the products are actually safe.

Perhaps your mother told you once that it is hard to control how others feel – you can only control what you do and how you do it. Maybe she should be running Congress . . . .

In any event, the number of offending children’s products uncovered this year by the consumer groups is rather meagre. As previously noted, Center for Environmental Health (CEH) drummed up seven items after six weeks of testing on 250 items. The CEH rogue’s gallery featured NO soluble lead in toys, but did feature one pair of shoes with lead in the soles . . . a pair of sandals with lead in the insole . . . a trinket with a bad connector link . . . a poncho with lead in the vinyl material, etc. And now the PIRGs have joined in the fun. The annual Trouble in Toyland report was issued this week by national PIRG and the equally hyperbolic Illinois PIRG issued its own “Chemical Compliance: Testing for Toxics in Children’s Products” report. [I am only focusing on lead and phthalates in these reports.] The PIRG “bounty”: a zipper “pull” and a yellow cow with lead-in-paint, one piece of lead jewelry, and two toys with phthalates (one an “unidentified” phthalate that might not be illegal, and the other just slightly over the limit). Illinois PIRG found only a small handful of violative products: only six of 87 products tested positive for violative lead levels using XRF guns, winnowing down to three items when tested by an independent lab.

Illinois PIRG failed to find lead or phthalates in the items featured in this TV segment. Unfortunately, that makes bad TV, so the head of Illinois PIRG lowered the standard to create something new to worry about (watch from 1:00 for 30 seconds in the video): “Most of the toys PIRG bought at target came up clean. But three of the toys had small amounts of lead — MUCH LESS THAN the current safety standard but enough for the gun to detect. ‘Really, children shouldn’t be exposed to lead at all,’ said [Brian] Imus.” [Emphasis added]

An implication of the 2009 reports is that the onerous new CPSIA lead standards are simply not tough enough. For instance, PIRG says “Regulations should simply ban lead except at trace amounts (90-100 ppm), whether in paint, coatings or any toys, jewelry or other products for use by children under 12 years old.” Where did this come from? Some ideas:

  • They are laying the groundwork for the August 2011 determination by the CPSC about implementing a 100 ppm lead limit. To do so, the agency must conclude that it is “technologically feasible” as defined in the CPSIA.
  • The groups are desperate to make their work seem relevant and constructive.
  • They are confused or want to confuse consumers about HOW lead harms children, ignoring, covering up or blurring important distinctions between bio-available lead and inaccessible lead.

The latter point is so critical to understand. Lead can only harm a child if it gets into the bloodstream. Notably, lead is present throughout the environment (lead is found in at least 40 ppm concentrations in dirt, unless you are referring to the Obama’s vegetable garden which has lead in concentrations of 93 ppm). Lead is in our food, drink and air, so kids consume it all the time. Apparently, lead in certain amounts must not be a problem, or else we would all have suffered reduced IQs (no comment in my case). The lead that should concern us is soluble lead, as in lead-in-paint and in jewelry, because it can easily get into the bloodstream. In any event, PIRG knows that toys and children’s products aren’t the problem. In their report, they cite a 2005 article (“Lead Exposure in Children: Prevention, Detection and Management,” Pediatrics, 1036-1048 (October 2005)) which makes clear that the problem with childhood blood lead levels is in lead-in-paint used in housing. There is NO mention anywhere that I can find where academic studies blame national blood lead levels on toys, etc., and likewise, I find all credit for lowering blood lead levels is given to efforts to rid the world of lead-in-paint in housing. Period.

So why does PIRG and its brethren continue to flog the notion that lead in all manifestations is dangerous? And why are they now saying that ANY lead, even below the draconian levels in the current law, is dangerous to children’s health?

Questions worth pondering.

Finally, not content to blur the lines on lead, PIRG also recommends that the phthalates ban be extended: “CPSC should ban phthalates in toys and other products intended for children under five and work with the Federal Trade Commission to ensure that toys labeled ‘phthalate-free’ do not contain phthalates.” So apparently PIRG wants ALL phthalates eliminated from toys, no matter the absence of science behind their new manic fear. Even more importantly, they apparently concede that the blanket ban on six phthalates for toys intended for children 6-12 is excessive and damaging. At least that’s a positive contribution!

So another Xmas toy bashing seems to be behind us. The pseudo-science underlying the consumer groups’ attacks on children’s products was again exposed, as was the basic integrity and safety of the marketplace. Does that do us any good? That remains to be seen. Perhaps the leadership at the CPSC will tire of this relentless war (which is eroding their professional reputations) and do something to get Congress to fix a truly defective and damaging law. Let’s hope so.

Read more here:
CPSIA – Consumer Groups are Grasping at Straws

CPSIA – Interesting Admissions by Mattel

In a November 9 Product Safety Letter article, Mattel spokesmen were quoted bemoaning the burdens and confusion of the CPSIA.

In Mattel’s public meeting with Commissioner Bob Adler, Mattel sounded bedraggled and overwhelmed by the new law:

“Peter Biersteker, a lawyer for Mattel with the law firm Jones Day in Washington D.C., said his client is finding the CPSIA difficult to decipher. The law, he said, is unclear on what products the company needs to test, how often it needs to test them, and how many samples need to be tested. ‘It’s a lot of work. I don’t know how smaller companies do it,’ Biersteker told Commissioner Robert Adler. Despite Mattel’s large team of in-house lawyers, he said, the company needed to hire outside lawyers to help understand the CPSIA. He said Mattel holds weekly conference calls on the issue, discussing how to comply with the act while remaining ‘cost competitive.’”

Ed. Note: Hmmm, where have I heard this before??? Oh yeah, in this space, about 100 times since the blog went live in January. Key points:

  • The new law is unclear
  • The implementing rules are unclear
  • CPSC guidance has not resolved these mysteries (and IMHO made them worse)
  • A team of lawyers is needed to interpret the mess – a team of business people is insufficient
  • Small businesses have no chance under the CPSIA
  • Internal resources are overwhelmed by the CPSIA’s legal demands – even for companies with a large internal law department
  • The seriousness of the legal risks under the CPSIA means that any prudent company MUST hire expensive outside experts to provide compliance advice (and for many small businesses, this is just not a realistic option economically)
  • Remaining “cost competitive” is a seemingly unsolvable puzzle under this law.

And if Mattel says so, it MUST be true.

Adler was sympathetic (I can see the tears welling up . . . ):

“Adler responded with, ‘Believe me. I’ve been struggling to learn it myself.’ He said it’s hard for CPSC to issue guidelines that are applicable to both large and small firms.”

So the Commissioners themselves don’t understand the law and the agency’s rules. Join the club. And Adler admits that the law doesn’t permit the agency to address small business concerns adequately.

Perhaps the CPSC leadership should talk to Congress??? Hey, that’s an interesting thought . . . .

More good news – Mother Mattel is trying get the rest of the world to adopt the U.S. insanity:

“[Jim Walter, Mattel's senior vice president of product integrity & chief regulatory officer] said Mattel is working to internationally harmonize future product safety standards, finding that harmonizing standards after they have been issued is too difficult.”

I have also heard directly from the TIA and others that lobbying efforts are underway to make the CPSIA a world standard. In other words, by drumming up support for this craziness, the big toy companies can ensure that no one will escape the costs that they must incur to remain active in the world’s largest toy market, the U.S. To heck with small business interests! How generous of Mattel to get behind the law developed in response to its own bad behavior. I am so grateful for their guidance and oversight – they did such a great job in 2007/8, no doubt they will do even better now!

About the only consolation I can offer is that I don’t think the failings of the CPSIA are lost on the outside world. The recent ICPHSO conference in Toronto made clear that no one in Canada is clamoring to use the CPSIA as a model for their new safety law. Contentions to the contrary by officials in this country must be taken with a grain of salt. It is abundantly clear that the CPSIA is yet another self-destructive U.S. initiative by the worst Congress in U.S. history – and no foreign government is any hurry to work that magic on their own economy just because Henry Waxman and his merry band has Hari-Kari in mind for us. Interestingly, other countries seem to know that jobs matter.

Mattel’s admissions frame the challenge for the rest of us. We need to make sure that the CPSC is well-aware of the completely unrealistic scenarios they are forcing on businesses (large and small) and to hold them accountable to push Congress to address these issues SOON. 2010 is an election year and it will be increasingly obvious to one and all that we will have our chance to replace those members of Congress who will not cooperate with our reasonable requests. Let’s hope that they can see the future . . . and choose to act before it’s too late.

Read more here:
CPSIA – Interesting Admissions by Mattel

CPSIA – Love Them GCCs

Hope you love paperwork! Here is the list of products that NOW require GCCs to be legally sold in the U.S. under the CPSIA and related acts, bans, demonizations and paranoia documents (Appendix A):

  • All Terrain Vehicles
  • Architectural Glazing Materials
  • Bicycles
  • Bicycle Helmets
  • Bunk Beds
  • Carpets and rugs
  • CB Omnidirectional Base Station Antennas
  • Cellulose Insulation
  • Contact Adhesives
  • Cigarette and Multipurpose Lighters
  • Dive Sticks
  • Fireworks Devices
  • Garage Door Openers
  • Lawnmowers
  • Lead in paint (We knew about that one! But didja know: “Some applications are exempted including mirror back coatings, tpetal furniture, blinds, chandeliers, fixtures, appliances, manufactured windows, artist paints. Agricultural and industrial uses are also not covered. Touch up paints for the exempted applications that contain lead must be labeled.”)
  • Matchbooks
  • Mattresses
  • Refrigerators
  • Refuse Bins (I was wondering when the CPSC would start regulating garbage cans!)
  • Swimming Pool Slides
  • Vinyl Plastic Film
  • Wearing Apparel (except hats, gloves, andfootwear)

These items may have exceptions – you will have to scrutinize every word of the 31-pager issued by the CPSC to know the full extent of your requirements.

I have always said, there ain’t no problem that can’t be made better with more paperwork! Pretty soon the CPSC may require that we exchange GCCs before shaking hands (noting the application of Purell at all appropriate times). Nothing Orwellian or self-destructive about this mania, is there???

Okay everybody, call your suppliers and get all that paper flowing!

Read more here:
CPSIA – Love Them GCCs

CPSIA – Proposition 65 Provides Funding Mechanism for CEH Crusaders

Has the Center for Environmental Health (CEH) gone into the business of finding violations of law for profit? You gotta wonder.

This past week, CEH capped off a six-week investigation of 250 children’s items at the request of or in partnership with the CA Attorney General’s office, finding seven mildly offending items. As detailed in my blogpost last Wednesday, this rogue’s gallery of offenders include a pair of shoes (soles), sandals (insoles), a poncho, a small patch of material on a bicycle accessory and the like. The CA AG issued cease-and-desist orders on his own, cutting the CPSC out of the picture, and a media feeding frenzy ensued. Presumably to the delight of the CEH troublemakers, Oregon followed up with its own action. [To Oregon's credit, they indicate they would inform the CPSC of their concerns, not take a direct recall action like the CA AG.] Perhaps other States plan to follow the CA lead and jump down the retailers’ throats for these trivial defects.

How did this come to pass? It turns out that the starting point was a tip by CEH on another lead case, this one involving Mattel. As you know, Mattel was responsible for some major lead-in-paint recalls in 2007/8. These recalls were a result of a violation of longstanding federal law, and the authority for the recall was found in the CPSA (before its amendment by the CPSIA). [In other words, the new law was not required to force Mattel to recall these items.] It turns out that California’s Proposition 65, its notorious consumer-right-to-know law, was also violated by those recalls. The insidious Prop. 65 (explicitly exempted from preemption under the CPSIA by the powerful California Congressional delegation including Senators Boxer and Feinstein and Reps. Pelosi and Waxman) requires that products exceeding (in this case) its lead standard be labeled to “inform” the consumer. Prop. 65 lead standards now match the federal standards. By violating the federal standards, Mattel also violated the Prop. 65 label requirements, thus giving California the chance to extend its palm for penalties and other concessions.

In the first of many settlements relating to its recalls, Mattel and other companies settled
a Prop. 65 lawsuit and paid a collective $1.56 million in penalties and fees. [The CA AG extracted similar penalties from Target, TRU and KMart for lead violations earlier this month.] It turns out that this $550,000 penalty case stemmed from a rat out by CEH: “This agreement settles a lawsuit filed by the State of California and the LA City Attorney in November 2007, after receiving notices of violation from the Center for Environmental Health, As you Sow, and the Environmental Law Foundation.” Part of the money extracted ($550,000) was applied to a fund “to test toys for lead and improve outreach about future recalls.”

So how did Mattel’s misery pay off for CEH? The CA AG’s press release tells all: “In 2008, Brown’s office reached a settlement with several major toy companies over excessive levels of lead in their products. The settlement allocated $548,000 in funding for consumer safety groups to monitor lead levels in consumer goods and to provide outreach about product recalls. The Center for Environmental Health discovered the current violations with a grant from the Public Health Trust, which administers the settlement fund.”

So, here’s the game – CEH finds violations of the law, and then puts in for grants to find more violations, all funded by the violators. CEH is a not-for-profit – it is not a business, does not make or sell products or services for a profit and its officers and employees have no source of funding other than contributions . . . until now. Proposition 65 is their new funding source. Shaking down corporations under the auspices of Prop. 65 to provide funds for new hires, salaries, raises, perhaps even bonuses. Thus, the unholy alliance of plaintiff lawyers and consumer groups is made even more cozy. Consumer protection as a plaintiff lawyer’s dream. Job well done, CEH!

CEH and its ilk want you to believe that they are simply out there to protect your interests, which is the reason presented to explain their “passionate” search for “scofflaws”. But does that explanation hold water when the consumer group is essentially working on a commission for pay? Can you really be sure these violations are actually dangerous when it is clear that CEH must find them to pay its rent or keep its officers on the job? And what about the interests of the local politicians in this dynamic? Jerry Brown wants to be California’s governor – what are his incentives in this case, being egged on by the pay-by-the-violation consumer group?

Does anyone see the possibility of conflicts of interest here? What is that odor I smell?

Aside from the OUTRAGE of CEH taking money for its escapades, the entire Proposition 65 gambit seems to be a parallel safety law allowing a local politician to upstage and trump federal regulation, all the while shaking down companies with duplicative penalties for the same offense. Mattel, no particular object of sympathy in my book, was hit with Prop. 65 penalties (collectively with others, $1.56 million), a “consumer fraud” settlement with 38 states for $12 million, a CPSC fine of $2.3 million and a class action settlement said to be worth more than $50 million. Since Proposition 65 is exempted from preemption by our wise Congress, this liability bonanza will continue to plague the toy industry for a long time to come (forever?).

What is the consequences of the long term, relentless, pointless (from a social good standpoint) assault on our industry under Proposition 65? A poisoned well. What do you think will happen to small business vendors to retailers who have been hounded and hunted under this law? The ultimate in skittishness. It is just not possible to satisfy their hunger for safety mania. As an example, a large national retailer has been demanding that our company test every product for lead-in-paint . . . regardless of whether it has any paint on it. That can only make sense in a world where the consequences of violations are too horrible to contemplate.

Is a violation of this law really worse than mass murder? I think not. This week’s CEH violations are innocent and have not and will not harm anyone. They are minor manufacturing defects and can be corrected easily and inexpensively. By making each such trivial violation into a capital case, the cost of doing business skyrockets, profit incentive crashes and many players exit. We have already seen one offering memorandum for a customer of ours who can’t take it anymore. Most of the exits are quieter and harder to detect. See my post about Whimsical Walney. If we allow regulators to run roughshod over our industry this way, there won’t be anything left to protect. That would be terrible for all Americans. Sometimes you don’t know what you have until you lose it.

This is your country. Think about the corruption of fee-driven consumer groups and marauding State AGs who don’t answer to the CPSC. What are you going to do about it???

Read more here:
CPSIA – Proposition 65 Provides Funding Mechanism for CEH Crusaders

CPSIA – Learning Resources Testifies About Internet Privacy

My associate Michelle Bougie was invited to testify at the November 19 hearing held by a joint session of subcommittees of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on the subject of Internet privacy. In a re-run of last year’s feeding frenzy on toy safety, consumer groups are promoting paranoia about the collection and use of consumer data on the Internet. As a result of the building pressure to regulate the use of data both online and offline, the interests of small businesses are again threatened. Michelle gave insightful testimony on the current direct marketing practices online and offline and showed how legislation has the real potential to not only stunt the growth of the Internet (a huge job creator) but also to give a federally-sanctioned monopoly to large businesses over the availability and use of consumer data.

It is worth noting that Michelle’s testimony provides evidence that considerable infrastructure exists now – widely-adopted voluntary standards designed to protect consumer privacy and to make visible the practices of direct marketers. Michelle argues that the empowerment of consumers online makes these good practices a market necessity.

In fact, consumer data is rarely if ever sold (to my knowledge, we have never purchased it). Consumer data is RENTED for one-time uses typically and is not disclosed to the company renting the data. For instance, if we mail a catalog, we define the kind of names we want to rent, but never SEE them – they go directly to the mailing house and do not become our property. This makes perfect sense because the compiled lists are the intellectual property of the company that rents them out – and if they SOLD the names once, they could never sell them again. They would be out of business after one sale. Thus, we never get to see the names we rent. In fact, it is highly likely that we have rented many of the same names over and over for different mailings or email blasts. Privacy cannot be violated by uses that do not involve disclosure!

Michelle’s statement is found below (sorry, the audio is a bit tinny). Media coverage of the hearing highlighted Michelle’s testimony.

Read more here:
CPSIA – Learning Resources Testifies About Internet Privacy

CPSIA – CPSIA Casualty of the Week for November 16

The Alliance for Children’s Product Safety’s “CPSIA Casualty of the Week” highlights how the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) is disrupting the U.S. marketplace in order to draw attention to the problems faced by small businesses, public institutions, consumers and others trying to comply with senseless and often contradictory provisions of the law. These provisions do nothing to improve product safety, but are driving small businesses out of the market.

CPSIA Casualty of the Week for November 16:

“Pockets of Learning” Emptied by CPSIA
Special Needs Products Being Driven from Market By Testing Costs

Pockets of Learning is a Rhode Island-based company that for 20 years has designed, manufactured and sold unique heirloom-quality cloth toys and gifts, many of which offer skill-building experiences to children such as tying, matching, buttoning and counting. The company helps fill niche markets, including special needs, religious and independent retailers. Pockets of Learning has an impeccable safety record, and has never offered a product to the marketplace that had not been tested according to CPSC requirements.

On November 10, 2009, Pockets of Learning informed its customers that thanks to CPSIA, it will no longer sell its “How Do I Feel Today?” wall hanging, a bear-themed product sold for young children with special and emotional needs. The company told its customers that it “can no longer afford to manufacture and offer these products, due to the over 500% increase in safety testing cost…The annual volume of the product does not allow for the investment required to properly safety test under the new CPSIA guidelines.”

The loss of this item was made known to us by a leading distributor of therapy tools and other products for educational professionals and psychologists who had his order cancelled.

Pockets of Learning President Jack Grant told us in an e-mail that this product loss is only the “tip of the iceberg.” Due to the financial impact of CPSIA testing, Pockets of Learning is planning to reduce its product line from about 65 products to approximately 22 because of “the reality that CPSIA testing would typically add 30% or more to the cost of each item” made in small production runs.

Large multinational manufacturers who make high volume items can absorb higher testing costs imposed by CPSIA. But the thousands of small businesses across the country that fulfill specific, niche markets are the untold casualties of this law. Worse yet, kids in need are losing access to essential teaching materials. “How Do I Feel Today?”, indeed!

For more information, please contact Caitlin Andrews at (202) 828-7637 or e-mail caitlin.andrews@bgllp.com

Read more here:
CPSIA – CPSIA Casualty of the Week for November 16

CPSIA – RILA Requests Comments on its Global Standards

We received the following request from RILA about its new Global Standards. Here are some FAQs they supplied. RILA is asking for comments by December 1 which I think is too tight. We have asked them to extend the date into mid-January . . . it is the Xmas season.

These standards are yet another massive threat to the manufacturing community. It is essential that MANY companies contribute their ideas and comments to protect our ability to do business with the mass market merchants. Frankly, you ignore this standard at your peril. Please send RILA your comments.

Dear Supplier,

Earlier this year, the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) joined with the British Retail Consortium (BRC) to develop a retail-led, Global Standard for Consumer Product Manufacturing (GSCPM). RILA has been distributing drafts of the Standard through fellow trade associations, including possibly your own, since July 2009.

You have been identified by a RILA member as a key stakeholder in the development of this Standard and attached you’ll find the latest draft of the BRC/RILA Global Standard for Consumer Product Manufacturing.

As the BRC/RILA Standard drafting process comes to an end, we welcome your comments and value your feedback on the content. Please email all comments directly to Jim.Neill@rila.org by December 1, 2009.

Key components of the BRC/RILA Standard includes development of Sector Specific Guidelines, as well as a phased, orderly implementation. Please consider working with us in the development of these in the near future and let me know if you’re interested.

In addition to the BRC/RILA Standard, you will also find attached a Frequently Asked Questions document about the Standard and the program. If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

I look forward to working with you in the upcoming months.

Best Regards,

Jim Neill
Vice President, Product Safety
Retail Industry Leaders Association
1700 N. Moore Street, Suite 2250
Arlington, VA 22209
Direct: 703∙600∙2022
Mobile: 202∙412∙8960
Fax: 703∙841∙1184
mailto:Jim.Neill@retail-leaders.org

Read more here:
CPSIA – RILA Requests Comments on its Global Standards

Next Page »