Ed Morrissey has written some good stuff about last year’s Consumer Protection Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) in response to a problem created in large part by Mattel’s recall of 2 million toys, made mostly overseas, after it was discovered that they contained large amounts of lead. Unfortunately, the law allows the Consumer Product Safety Commission to require resellers at thrift shops and garage sales to subject what they sell to tests conducted by independent laboratories, at the resellers’ expense, such that the net effect will be to drive the small resale businesses out and those holding garage sales to throw away perfectly good stuff to avoid government retribution.
Morrissey has a post linking to an AP story about one company that recently and quietly got a waiver from having their products tested at these independent labs allowing the company’s own labs do the testing. The company? Mattel.
As if that isn’t bad enough, Morrissey points out another item in the AP story about these labs run by Mattel:
Mattel had to recall more than 2 million toys from the market after inspectors discovered lead in the imported products. Now they claim that their “firewalled” labs will protect consumers and block out “corporate influence”. Where are the labs that Mattel will use? Mexico, Malaysia, Indonesia, and China — and China is where the dangerous toys originated.
Read all of Ed’s post.
What I’d like to know is how Mattel got this waiver, because there isn’t any way, in my mind, that it didn’t come without some kind of
bribe campaign contribution to some politician that got the CPSC to issue the waiver. I suspect that any of these “contributions” went to Obama (this is very much the Chicago Way) and Congressional Democrats, but it may very well be that the campaign of some Congressional Republican(s) was (were) “greased”. Let’s hope that further information on this comes out, and that the CPSC gets so embarrassed over this that they pull the waiver. Or better yet, get Congress to rewrite this overreaching law.