Of course, a mania over lead in shoe soles and sandal insoles is kooky. You would hope that the CPSC wouldn't fall prey to such nonsense. Of course, the insightfully-written CPSIA makes no such distinction in the wording on its lead content restrictions. This is one reason why the footwear folks are so concerned about the law. Still, the CPSC is not so reactive to recall shoes for this reason . . . are they?
Regular readers of this space know the answer already. Here it is, the CPSC saving the world from "dangerous" leather work boots for kids! This public menace was recalled because the "Classic Scuffproof Boots" have a logo stamped on its insole that exceeds the new lead-in-paint standard. Whoa! The notice warns that "Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed" and later advises that "Consumers should immediately take the recalled boots away from children". The number of scuffproof work boots affected is 21,000 pairs sold for between $50-$70, or between $1-1.5 million in retail value. That's real money, guys. No doubt there'll also be a penalty in, say, three years.
Soooo, what are we looking at here? These are children's leather ankle high work boots with a logo ON THE INSOLE that might violate the lead-in-paint standard. [Personally, I STRONGLY doubt that Timberland uses paint for its insole logos - we believe it's made with an ink, thus not affected by the lead-in-paint standard.] Let me ask you an important question - have you EVER licked the insole of an ankle high boot? If you have, can you please send me a diagram of how you did it? While we're at it, do you believe a child ANYWHERE has EVER licked the insole of their ankle high leather work boot? Chewed off the yummy logo? Just curious . . . .
Man, are we safe now! Is it a huge stretch to contend that most people would not let their kids consume their scuffproof leather work boots, no matter how tasty? It is my distinct impression that many icky chemicals are used to make leather. That's a "watch out", if you ask me.
Furthermore, Timberland is a corporate "good guy". Their website practically oozes with enviro-friendly policies and social responsibility. In fact, they are famous for their personnel practices and activism. Here, for instance, is a portion of their mission statement:
- Value. Humanity. Humility. Integrity. Excellence. These are the core values that we inject into everything we do, everyday.
- Purpose. Creating positive change in our company, community and environment. Any way you can.
Clearly, the government needs to keep a close eye on these people.Unfortunately, now that a lunatic law governs the country and CPSC leadership seeks to please a cartoon character Congress that "wants" products like this off the market, embarrassing and demoralizing recalls like this become commonplace. For business people, these irrational recalls only heighten the fear and amplify the lack of trust that now infect the regulatory environment. After all, if the CPSC would stick it to Timberland for this, what would stop them from wreaking similar havoc on you?
Somehow we have to stop this runaway train. If you don't want your country run like this, you better do something about it.