Sunday, January 3, 2010

CPSIA - It's 2010, Our Fourth Year of Travails

I can't believe it's 2010. We are now entering the fourth year of the CPSIA mess. The children's product safety fiasco began in 2007 with large scale lead-in-paint recalls by a limited number of companies. The perceived betrayal of trust was enough to set off an unstoppable legislative tsunami, giving birth to the noxious CPSIA. Today, years later, we find ourselves beleaguered by
  1. An inflexible law which is especially penal to small business,
  2. A deaf Congress, resolute in its refusal to hold a real, open hearing or to foster debate,
  3. A paralyzed CPSC so hobbled by the problems and tasks of the new law that it cannot even meet deadlines with 15 months lead time, and
  4. A demoralized manufacturer community, numbed and confused by the process.

On the bright side, Henry Waxman floated a CPSIA amendment last month, apparently publicly conceding that the law needs to be changed and that the CPSC cannot fix the problems by themselves. In addition, the CPSC will be filing its own requests and recommendations on January 15 to satisfy a requirement in its appropriations grant.

Our struggle to foster change is producing results but we are not done. This terrible, distracting journey is not at an end, and we must steel ourselves for more fighting if we want to be governed again with common sense and rationality. So with a hearty Happy New Year, I wish you strength of character and a head of steam for the fight that lays ahead.

I will close this post with a poem by Paul Eldridge published in 1945 entitled "I Bring a Sword":

To the beasts preying upon my people
To the hyenas mocking their grief
To the hounds barring their gates
To the ostriches burying their heads
To the crocodiles shedding tears
To the snakes hissing malignities
To the monkeys chattering diplomacies
To the asses braying profundities
To the cocks crowing prophecies
To the owls hooting defeat -

Let that be our motto for 2010!

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