Tuesday, June 2, 2009

CPSIA - Letter to Congress 6-2-09

I wanted to be sure you saw the CPSIA Op-Ed below published in Roll Call on June 1. In this article, I call for a return of risk assessment to the CPSC. Under the CPSIA, the CPSC had its hands tied and under pressure from Congress, had to resort to a series of increasingly unjustifiable stays of enforcement in an attempt to restore a semblance of order to the marketplace. In this new environment of officially-sanctioned noncompliance, the new law is losing its meaning, and those of us in the business community are being sorted into the “have’s” and “have-not’s”. This is no way to run a country.

I have also attached a recent article I wrote for the Journal of Commerce about the tracking labels mandated by Section 103 of the CPSIA. This noxious provision alone will cause widespread devastation in the children’s markets and will provoke a massive die-off of safe products if nothing is done by Congress or the CPSC. In addition, I attached my testimony to the Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight of the House Committee on Small Business for the May 14 hearings on the CPSIA. The Small Business hearings documented the severe problems caused by the CPSIA in the small business community. In my written testimony, I set out the various unsolvable small business problems caused by the CPSIA and make recommendations for fixes. The problems manufactured by Congress in the CPSIA impacted thousands of small businesses at a time of remorseless economic crises – but prompt action to repair the damage could be effective.

Congress must acknowledge these mistakes and move forward to repair the CPSIA. It is now well-established that children’s safety is not dependent on the draconian strictures of the CPSIA. Likewise, the fatal flaws of the CPSIA have been clearly demarcated and can be amended without sacrificing children’s safety. With the appointment of Chairman Tenenbaum, the CPSC is ready to accept full responsibility for administering children’s safety again. To stand idly by is unacceptable and is increasingly disillusioning to your electorate. I call on Congress to act promptly to bring relief to the children’s market from the defective provisions of the CPSIA before more irreversible damage is done. To burden the new Commissioners and new Chairman of the CPSC with a faulty law will only further hobble a critical resource of the federal government.

For regular updates on the CPSIA and its impact on businesses and consumers, please follow my blog at http://www.learningresourcesinc.blogspot.com/ or via Twitter at www.twitter.com/rwoldenberg.


Richard Woldenberg
Learning Resources, Inc.
Vernon Hills, Illinois

1 comment:

Pam said...

I am a kitchen table manufacturer. Meaning I sew at my kitchen table. I enjoy making things for my 3 grandchildren and then making a few extra to sell on line. I have started to only design items that I can make from the CSPIA’s allowed list. I no longer can make my granddaughter a dress with a zipper or button to hold it together, so she no longer gets cute handmade ones. She has to wear the junk that gets imported from China and sold at Walmart. The same goes for my grandsons. If the manufacturers have to test their zippers for lead before they can sell them to me, why do I have to have these same zippers tested again to prove no lead was put into them in the trucks on their way to JoAnn Fabrics? Or are the JoAnn employees adding lead to them? This makes no sense to me what so ever.

The labeling law also doesn’t make sense as far as what I do is concerned. I make 2 dresses. One for my granddaughter and one to sell. Is my batch number 2? How do I permanently label this dress? No one can tell me. Do I write on it with black permanent marker? Can I make a tag to sew in similar to the one that currently says, “Made with love by Grandma.” That tag is not permanent. If it itches her, my daughter cuts it out. How do I make a permanent label on a little cotton sundress? What about her matching hairbow? I used to make them with 1/4 inch wide ribbon. Where should I put the permanent label?

I don’t mind complying with the law, but the powers that be should have enough respect for me and others like me, to answer these questions so we know what to do.

Please keep fighting this law until some thought and common sense has been put into it.