Tuesday, August 10, 2010

CPSIA - August, The Month To Scare (Oops, Save) The Populace

Well, it's August, almost time for Congress to recess for elections which means it's also time for your Dem friends to save you again. Makes a nice story for election time. Remember how Congress saved us two years ago, by passing a little bill called the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act on August 14, 2008? I bet you're getting ready for the bill's second birthday party! Anyhow, the Congressional cicadian rhythm drove a couple Pelosi clones, Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and Jackie Speier (D-CA), to timely release their latest legislative salvos designed to prove up their worth to you, the voters.

Ms. Schakowsky, one of Illinois' "finest" who is rated the Number One Spender in Congress by the National Taxpayers Union (thanks, Jan!), offered up another CPSIA-like morsel, the noxious H.R. 5786 Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010. Before we go on, who's against safe cosmetics? Everyone raise their hands . . . no one? Okay, we're all for safe cosmetics. So what's the problem?
  • Annual registration with the FDA for all manufacturers, including much proprietary and confidential information.
  • A federally-mandated schedule of new fees for the FDA to assess on the now poorer cosmetics companies.
  • New safety labels (an old Schakowsky standby to make everyone so much safer).
  • FDA review of the "physical, chemical and toxicological properties" of each chemical or mixture listed on the label. And lots of testing.
  • New FDA regulations on banned chemicals and so on.
  • New prohibitions, meaning that penalties and perhaps criminal actions are possible.
  • Mandated public reporting of "adverse health effects".

The trial bar has to be licking its chops. And Jan gets to claim to her constituents that they can't live without her. After all, who else is going to save them??? Just like the CPSIA saved our company, our employees and our customers. So, so, soooooo safe and we get an even bigger federal government as an added bonus!

Not content to be outdone, savior-in-training Jackie Speier followed up her ratting out of safe McDonalds Shrek glasses with the newly-minted H.R. 5920 Toxic Metals Protection Act of 2010. Anyone against being protected from toxic metals??? Hmmm, no one? Thank heavens we have such an alert member of Congress ready to sweep in to protect us - right before elections! One of the big effects of this law is to make lots of things illegal and to specify civil and criminal liability for infractions. We really needed this!

Ms. Speier explains her "motivation": “'Children’s developmental health in this country is threatened by exposure to products containing cadmium,' said Congresswoman Speier. 'In May, Wal-Mart removed cadmium-tainted jewelry from its shelves. Last month, McDonald’s recalled over 12 million glasses containing cadmium, and SmileMakers Inc. recalled 68,000 Children’s Happy Charm Bracelets and Football Rings for containing this toxic metal. It’s time to be smart and aggressive about the risks posed by toxic metals that can cause children harm. This legislation is aimed at protecting them from hazardous levels of metals in products they might use.'" Oops, she forgot to mention that the Shrek glasses were acknowledged to be safe by the CPSC or that none of these products is associated with a single injury. Details . . . .

Then there's the swelling pile of Op-Eds and Editorials touting the "urgent" need to tighten the noose on chemicals (LA Times: "The new regulations will be burdensome on industry — and even more so if the state approves the recommendations we've listed here — but they should also pay dividends by lowering health care bills and environmental cleanup costs, as well as spawning a new industry dedicated to developing safer chemicals."). [Ed. Note: I love the part about how the bill will lower costs! I wish newspaper editorial writers knew how to add and multiply - they could really figure stuff out with those skills.] Henry Waxman, current shield of the CPSIA and guardian of the rules and regulations that ensure the business death of the children's product industry, wants to finish the job by making us account for every chemical in every product. TSCA Reform - super! We'll all be so safe . . . in the unemployment line.

Your Congress at work - making the world safe from jobs and prosperity, an August tradition!


Sebastian said...

There was a one page article about the Shrek glasses in Time magazine a couple weeks ago. I'm overseas, so it takes a while for my magazines to find me. But the article said nothing about the lack of actual danger posed by the glasses or any opposing viewpoint other than: Eew, a scary sounding element. We should pass a law to prohibit that.

halojones-fan said...

I love how "lowering costs" is the justification for absolutely everything the government does.

Christ, people, we could "lower costs" to zero if we just banned EVERYTHING. Is that really where you want to go?

Anonymous said...

Please don't cast this as a Dem vs. Repub thing. Your R's will be out there during the break scaring you with tales of terrorists and immigrant babies. Fear is lingua franca today, whether you lean left or right.

halojones-fan said...

@Anon: You'd have a more cogent point if cadmium jewelry had blown up the WTC and brass zippers were running around Afghanistan cutting women's noses off.