Saturday, December 5, 2009

CPSIA - CPSIA Casualty of the Week for December 4

The Alliance for Children's Product Safety's "CPSIA Casualty of the Week" highlights how the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) is disrupting the U.S. marketplace in order to draw attention to the problems faced by small businesses, public institutions, consumers and others trying to comply with senseless and often contradictory provisions of the law. These provisions do nothing to improve product safety, but are driving small businesses out of the market.

Congress and the CPSC need to address the problems with CPSIA implementation to help small businesses by restoring "common sense" to our nation's product safety laws.

CPSIA Casualty of the Week for December 4:


Since 1983, designer and author Phebe Phillips has built a business based on creating a unique array of soft toys and “couture” characters. Phebe's plush animal friends have been sold throughout the United States in stores such as Neiman Marcus, which has showcased her designs since 1984. Inspired by a stuffed rabbit given to her at the age of 4, Phebe's entrepreneurial flair and passion for bringing joy to children has fostered the creation of hundreds of whimsical, one-of-a kind plush characters such as rabbits, frogs, elephants and bears.

Sadly, Phebe's quest to bring something special to young people’s lives has been abruptly curtailed by the over-reaching Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). Unable to handle the costs demanded by the new law, Phebe has stopped making and selling her animals – one more example of how, in the name of enhancing "safety", the CPSIA is depriving children of quality products.

Here's Phebe's account of what happened:

"Since 1983, when my company started, my toys have always been tested by the standards that were required at the time, with costs being several hundred dollars per style...the new CPSIA ruling now makes the testing costs as high as thousands of dollars per large size style...and the test is not done just once, but on each group that is reordered even if the exact same fabrics are used. So why are there no Phebe characters available for sale right now? Simply stated, I just do not have the volume of sales to support the quantity that I need to produce that would absorb this cost and keep my retail prices in the range that you are accustomed to."

Thanks to the CPSIA, the creative spirit of small business owners like Phebe Phillips has been sidelined in favor of products from large, multinational corporations that can afford the new law's onerous testing standards and other requirements.

For more information about Phebe Phillips, visit:

1 comment:

April said...

It is my hope that because Phebe's designs were sold in higher-end, high-profile stores (FAO, Neiman-Marcus, Victoria's Secret, etc.) this will lend a louder voice to the public outcry. I'm not sure how many more WSJ articles it's going to take to get the attention this needs. Maybe a bunny in a tutu is exactly the voice of reason we've been waiting for...