Thursday, June 10, 2010

CPSIA - Recall of Safe Products Continues to Reverberate

The national convulsions (call it "brain softening") induced by the CPSC's action in forcing McDonald's to recall admittedly SAFE Shrek drinking glasses continued to spin out of control today. Following their usual election year script of harshly dealing with invented crises to impress the easily-duped public, Henry Waxman and Bart Stupak, two Democratic leaders on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, sent letters today to McDonald's and the manufacturer of the glasses, ARC International, demanding information to blow this non-issue up into a mega-crisis.

Before I summarize how Waxman and Stupak worked to spread regulatory disease far and wide, I think we all owe a big THANK YOU to the CPSC for so vigilantly protecting us from these safe products. There is no doubt that we were all victims of a false sense of security, not knowing that atoms of cadmium might be lurking on the outside of drinking glasses. Of course, cadmium atoms also lurk in our food, in our water, in our air, in our dirt AND on countless glasses in our homes sold over preceding decades without incident - but, heck, that's a little too science-y, don't you think? Only by exposing that these glasses are SAFE while at the VERY SAME TIME pushing for a highly-publicized recall and resulting media panic, did the CPSC reveal that we were actually safe without even knowing it - and yet they STILL acted to protect us! What a great bunch of guys and gals we have at the CPSC, we are so lucky. No really, thank YOU Consumer Product Safety Commission!

Mssrs. Waxman and Stupak sent off two letters demanding lots of "incriminating" information, such as:
  • A list of all manufacturers and distributors that supply McDonald's with children's products. McDonald's interest in keeping its suppliers' identities confidential as a trade secret is no never mind. After all, the glasses they recalled are SAFE, so you can't take ANY chances. And let's not forget the FACT that the other McDonald's items are NOT suspected of ANY violation of ANY law. This is Mr. Waxman's wizardry to keep us all so safe. . . .
  • A list of all the "steps" McDonald's takes to ensure that children's products do not contain hazardous materials. The FACT that the CPSC has declared these glasses SAFE does not apparently matter in this inquiry, raising the question of what Waxman and Stupak mean by "hazardous materials". Presumably then, the presence of an atom of cadmium might meet their "standard" for hazardous materials. In utopia, there is no cadmium. Waxman and Stupak represent the 1st and 8th Congressional Districts of Utopia, respectively.
  • The identity of the supplier of the enamel on the SAFE glasses. This identity had previously been withheld by ARC, showing character by attempting to keep the crisis away from an innocent supplier. As ARC said in a recent newspaper report, "[it] could have been any glass company. . . . We all do the same thing using materials from the same suppliers."

I find it ironic that the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations is none other than Michael Burgess. Burgess is a doctor (M.D.). Maybe he has a sense of what constitutes an actual hazard to human health. If he does, I hope he shares it with his colleagues on the other side of the aisle. . . .

Hey, let's not get too paranoid here. No one is going to pay attention to this mass hysteria or change how they regard the federal safety laws. This mega-screwing of two reputable companies over admittedly SAFE products is not relevant to the rest of us. Why? They'll never be interested in us because we all make . . . SAFE PRODUCTS.

Oh, crap.


Anonymous said...

A product safety haiku

Bethesda urges
Recall of safe Shrek glasses
I’m not lovin’ it.

Anonymous said...

Two all beef patties
Special sauce, lettuce and cheese...
Hold the cadmium.