The toy industry wants to set "voluntary" standards
After a year of overwhelming toy recalls in 2007, the toy industry is working with the American National Standards Institute to adopt a series of standards governing toy safety and quality. Unfortunately, the standards will only be voluntary, since the Bush Administration and Senate Republicans refuse to regulate anyone.
The proposed new standards would regulate several aspects of toy design, factory quality, and product testing. Since eighty percent of toys sold in the U.S. are manufactured in China, much of the regulatory push is aimed at addressing problems in the thousands of small, unregulated Chinese factories. The standards were intended to work "hand in hand" with new safety legislation, however, the U.S. Senate--subject to the veto power of Republicans who despise regulation-- has failed to act on the bill enacted by the U.S. House of Representatives. Sadly, in the absence of an adequately resourced Consumer Product Safety Commission, voluntary standards are not adequate to protect the American public from unregulated Chinese competition.