Spreading the Word: It’s Not Just About Saving Handmade
Hopefully you’ve already heard about this but just in case:
Congress has passed some badly thought-through legislation in their attempt to protect children from lead and other toxins. Though well intended, this legislation is, at it’s best, terribly overreaching and completely confusing to small companies who manufacture any type of children’s products from toys, to clothing, to books (including handmade) and want to be in compliance with the law. At it’s worst, the new legislation is completely devastating to countless small businesses and handcrafters all over the world who will never be able to afford the amount and type of testing this law requires.
I appreciate Senator Majority Leader Patrick Leahy (D-VT) response to the public’s concern: “I am hopeful that the CPSC will take the needs of small, American manufacturers into consideration as they continue to develop new testing policies. In the next session of Congress, I will continue to work towards a solution that both ensures the safety of our children and allows small businesses in Vermont to stay competitive”.
Everyone wants our children to be safe, but this type of legislation is not the way to accomplish this goal. I can’t imagine the government wanting to put more companies out of business at this time (or force small companies to break the law) just because they didn’t take the time to think through their well-intentioned rules and regulations.
I have already spoken with the office of my Congressman and sent them a follow-up e-mail letter loosely based on this great form letter filled with proposed changes from the Handmade Toy Alliance, Voted at Change.org
Go over to Cool Mom Picks, National Bankruptcy Day or The Handmade Toy Alliance to get more information and a list of things you can do to help make a change (or at least force some much needed clarification). The CSPC and other members of the government will hopefully be listening.
**If you are really interested, the National Association of Manufacturers has written a petition to the CSPC documenting what they feel are the flaws and fixes of this hasty legislation. This is their stand in a nut-shell with which I wholeheartedly agree:
Adoption of common-sense, risk, health and safety-based exemptions, consistent with the Commission’s statutory authority, will protect the public while minimizing unnecessary economic impacts on business that lack any added safety benefit to consumers.