Thursday, February 24, 2011

CPSIA - New York Times Pleads for the Database

Leftist newspaper The New York Times published a passionate call for implementation of the database today. Perhaps they just have the same malady that my wife accuses me of, namely "selective hearing". Selective hearing is a scourge!

Says the NYT: "The new Republican-led House seems determined to roll back those protections. As part of their slash-and-burn continuing resolution, they cut all the financing — some $3 million this year — for a core provision of the safety bill: a database where consumers could report product hazards and the public could check products before buying them."

They carry on to sniff: "Arguments against all of these provisions are part of a standard antiregulation litany. Businesses warn that the hazard database would open the door to bogus charges and lawsuits. They claim that third-party testing of children’s products is proving to be too costly and that some should not be tested at all for things like lead because children are unlikely to eat them. The concern about frivolous lawsuits is a predictable canard."

It's a "canard", guys. How dare you!

Wouldn't it be great if the Times actually listened. Instead, they are just a mouthpiece for the neurotics: "And there is a lot of lead out there. Since the new law has passed, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued 26 recalls because of lead paint in toys . . . . The recall in 2007 of millions of hazardous children’s products imported from China proved that a gutted safety commission couldn’t do its job. Why would anyone want to make that same mistake again?"

Throwing us a bone, the Times allows that it might be okay to change the law . . . a little bit: "Some provisions of the safety law could be tweaked. For instance, there may be ways to help the smallest of toy makers gain access to low-cost lead testing. There might be a way to exempt products from testing if they very clearly do not pose a lead-related hazard."

This kind of reporting or opining from the Times makes it clear that the "war" is not nearly over. There are still substantial pockets of misinformation, and sadly, the politicized atmosphere surrounding the issue of "safety" remains profound. For a shrinking industry like newspapers, there is little choice but to find or create issues that sell papers. I don't think the Times feels its franchise will be served by noting that things are better or assuring people that the manufacturers are making legitimate criticisms pf this cherished law. Who needs a paper to tell us we're okay?

The beat goes on.

No comments: