Deregulate the safety of toys?
After almost eight years of Bush Administration deregulatory fervor, the Consumer Product Safety Commission staff had been cut by more than half to 385 people. Literally millions of toys from China were recalled--including many popular Christmas favorites sold by major retailers--because of lead paint and other hazards. Finally, Congress took one of its few truly bipartisan actions of the past decade and passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. Twenty-six more recalls have been instituted in the two years since, due to detection of lead paint alone.
Now, the new Republican House of Representatives majority is bowing to the toy manufacturers and importers and attempting to roll-back key provisions of that bill. They want to limit protection of childhood toys to products for children under ages 6 or 7, rather than up to age 12. They also want to eliminate a database that allows consumers to report product hazards, and which allows consumers to check on the safety of products pre-purchase. Money talks in Washington and big money carries a megaphone.