Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Independent Toy Makers and the New Law

Minnesota Public Radio featured an excellent article on the so-called Consumer Product Improvement Safety Act here. This law will require all toy makers, from Hasbro to the one-person wood shop worker, to conduct expensive testing on toys they sell. Why does this fall to the independent crafter? It's gigantic companies who were importing inexpensive, lead-ridden garbage in the first place, and the law needs to focus on them. I love what PeaPods Natural Toys store owner Dan Marshal said about the law: "And the way this enforcement was put together, it makes sense for large companies, which were the ones making this problem in the first place. It doesn't make sense for small-batch companies."

My comment on the article: "As a crafter and maker of handmade goods myself, I completely agree with Marshal that the bill makes sense for the irresponsible huge companies who caused the problem in the first place, not for small companies or, especially, individual toymakers. This should not be a one-size-fits-all solution."


Tiffany Teske said...

I agree that it should not be a "one size fits all solution" but as a mother I have to say that I would not buy a product from someone, large company or independent crafts person, that I was not sure was safe. I don't want toxic plastics, lead, etc in a product. I feel I should take responsibility for giving my child age appropriate toys, not something they can choke on or harm themselves on when they are too young, but I have no control over toxins and lead, all I can do it ask if they are present and hope that a crafts person will tell me the truth. Of course, crafts people, in my opinion are far less likely to use these things to start with and to lie about their presence. The large companies that lie and cheat should deserve this bill and I only hope the government will enforce it, like they have been doing in Europe for 10 years. After all, lead was outlawed in the US like 30 years ago, and it still shows up in hundreds of recalled toys a year... very interesting post, Sarah, I was happy to find your blog today!! Happy holidays :)

creativesundries said...

Great to hear from you, Tiffany! You make some excellent points. You are so right that crafters are much less likely to use harmful substances to begin with!