If we want to stop the good intentioned but seriously flawed and poorly worded CPSIA, we need to make some noise. Below is a sample letter that I got from the Handmade Toy Alliance. You can sign their petition and you can copy this letter and send it to your Representative and Senators. It's easy to do and the more the powers that be get messages like this one, the more responsive they will be.
Thanks for getting active.
From: [your name and address]
To: [your congress person or senator]
Re: The Consumer Product Improvement Act (CPSIA) will result in a drastic deepening of the economic crisis
Dear [your congress person or senator],
The economic crisis in our country is distressing to millions of Americans. That is why it concerns me that under the CPSIA, many small business owners will be driven out of business, deepening the crisis. The premise of self reliance and entrepreneurship on which this country was founded is in jeopardy.
Like many people, I was deeply concerned by the dangerous and poisonous toys that large Chinese toy manufacturers have been selling to our families. And, I was pleased that Congress acted quickly to protect America's children by enacting the CPSIA.
However, I am very concerned that the CPSIA's mandates for third party testing and labeling will have a dramatic and negative effect on small businesses whose safety record has always been exemplary. It will devastate small manufacturers and home businesses who create children's products such as clothes, handmade goods and toys for children, beautiful Native American artifacts, children's books, adaptive products for children with disabilities, and classroom and homeschool materials. These small businesses simply cannot afford the $300-$4,000 price tag per product that Third Party testers are charging.
With the economic crisis we find ourselves in, fewer families will be able to afford the higher costs of the goods that remain available. Any company that is able to remain in business will undoubtedly raise prices due to increased compliance costs. Everyone will have to pay more for the remaining available goods, deepening the effects of the economic crisis for millions of families.
I urge you to quickly request the Consumer Product Safety Commission to make some very reasonable exclusions in their interpretation of the law as they continue their rulemaking process. These include exempting books and uncoated fabrics from testing and allowing manufacturers to rely upon testing done by their materials suppliers instead of paying for redundant unit-based testing. I would also like to see an exemption to third party testing requirements for micro-businesses similar to the exemptions granted by the FDA for small producers under the food labeling laws. As the Wall Street Journal wrote, "The Commission needs to implement the rules without putting more companies out of business in an already tenuous economy."
These toy makers, crafters, publishers and small home based businesses have earned and kept the public's trust. They provide jobs for thousands and quality playthings and educational products for hundreds of thousands. Their unique businesses should be protected. Please visit www.handmadetoyalliance.org to learn more about this issue.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.