Thursday, January 22, 2009

Is this for real?

Is everyone aware of the new Act that goes into effect on Feb. 10, 2009?
This is so ridiculous and the effects are staggering.
Is this the start of "Big Brother"
What is next?
This is information I got from a homeschooling family. They sell homeschooling items including history kits they put together. They will no longer be able to sell these as the inspection for each item in each kit will run them a total of about $30,000. Just one kit, not a batch of one kind of kit.
You can go to their website here.
At the bottom of the linked page above are some suggestions to how we can help.
Please send a letter to your Senator and Representative.
The CPSIA (Consumer Produce Safety Improvement Act) was passed in August 2008 and goes into effect on February 10, 2009. It was passed in response to recent lead paint scares involving imported toys. While all good parents wants safe toys and other products for their children, the unfortunate truth is that this law was written FAR too broadly.
Because this over-reaching law mandates expensive ($400 - $4,000 per test) testing on every part of every batch of everything made for children 12 and under, the ramifications are terrible. Mid-size and small companies of all sorts will go out of business as they cannot afford the testing. If a company makes clothing, for example, they would have to test every batch of every color and style of fabric, every batch of buttons, snaps, zippers, thread, elastic, etc. Even if they used the same bolt of fabric to make several different products, simply testing that one bolt would not appease the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Instead, every size of every style of finished product would have to have every component tested individually! This scenario applies to every product made for use by children - clothing, books, DVD's, craft products, toys, sporting goods, furniture, bedding, educational products, and so forth - even if the items are made from completely natural components.
Here are just a few results of this law:
1. The children's resale market will be seriously impacted. While new updates to the CPSIA state that resale shops can continue to sell used children's items without testing them, the updates also state that no one can sell used children's items that violate the new testing standard. Selling these "banned hazardous materials" is a felony offense with a $100,000 fine and jail time - and without performing the testing, resale shops and other resellers have no way of knowing if their items are in compliance. Many used children's items venues just aren't willing to take that kind of risk and are closing their doors in spite of the updates to the CPSIA.

2. The used children's book market will cease to exist.

3. All small and cottage industries related to children's products will have to close their doors. This includes natural, organic, and/or handmade products.

4. Many mid-size companies are closing because of the enormous financial burden of the testing and the paperwork nightmare created by the necessary labeling, tracking, and certification of their products.

5. Many homeschool authors and publishers will be going out of business.

6. The economy will be impacted on several levels: economically challenged families who rely on the children's resale market will suffer, families who lose their businesses will suffer, and families with members who lose their jobs due to businesses closing will suffer. Many related industries (those who produce support products like packaging, equipment, etc.) will suffer from the loss of companies who once bought their products. The companies who can afford the testing will surely pass their costs to all of us. This means GOODWILL!!!!

7. The environmental impact will be staggering as resale shops and other business are forced to dispose of their inventory, and as families who would have donated or sold their children's used items will be forced to discard them.

8. Our freedom to choose the products that we feel are best for our children will be severely hampered. We, for example, place a high value on children's toys made from natural materials like wood or wool, or items that are handmade. We will no longer be able to purchase these items for our children.

9. At this point, libraries will have to ban children 12 and under OR remove all children's books. I have no idea what the impact will be on schools!

You can contact your lawmakers here:

1 comment:

Amelia said...

:-( Thanks for the heads-up! I've actually been reading about this for awhile since I have made contact with lots of moms who make a variety of handmade things in my quest to learn how to sew cloth diapers. I actually sat down and wrote a couple of gov't officials after reading your post though. As far my diapers go, I may or may not ever sell them (it takes 2 hours to sew ONE, so it's not entirely lucrative), but I am extremely upset regarding those who are already in business selling such things. I have a feeling, if this thing isn't modified, that a black market may arise. Ha!