Sunday, December 13, 2009

CPSIA - More Details on Bogus Zhu Zhu Pet Scare published a fascinating article about the Zhu Zhus by the editor of, an affiliate organization of George Mason University. In this article, Trevor Butterworth thoroughly debunks the fear mongering of the so-called "GoodGuide" in their inept scientific "analysis" on Zhu Zhu Pets. Among other things, he compares the levels of antimony on the nose of the Zhu Zhu Pet with that of a mattress (antimony is found in certain flame retardants and has been carefully studied by the CPSC for this reason). His conclusion: "You would need to upgrade Mr. Squiggles from a hamster to a pet Ox and sleep on him for 8 hours a day for a decade to simulate [the] negligible exposure [in mattresses]." So the fact that "[d]epending on the level of exposure, antimony can lead to cancer, lung and heart problems and impacts on fertility" oft-repeated by an uncomprehending media in reporting on Zhu Zhu Pets is completely inappropriate. It has been put out there just there to scare you . . . or else the consumer advocates (protecting you!) have absolutely no idea what they are doing. Let me see, which makes more sense to me . . . that's a tough call, frankly.

For the record, I believe the Zhu Zhu Pets scam was first exposed by the in this post. Isn't it ironic that a "green" activist is the one to expose the lousy work of the so-called "GoodGuide"? Jennifer Taggart has been an active and useful participant in the debate on the CPSIA. Apparently, the politics of keeping everyone so, so, so safe does not prevent her from standing with the victims of this law. Hmmm. Mr. Waxman, are you listening (or do you even care)?

To close this politically-incorrect essay, I want to again quote from Mr. Butterworth's article in Forbes:

"In the face of unreasoning, unjustified terror, there is, perhaps, only humor. When the story broke about Mr. Squiggles in the United Kingdom, one American from Jacksonville, Fla., posted the following comment after a related news story: 'Dear England, I must apologize for my idiot brethren in San Francisco. You see, in San Francisco they are afraid of everything. There is absolutely nothing that doesn't terrify these people.'"

Can't top that!

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