In lieu of all the scary stuff with toys manufactured in China, Congress has passed an Act that will make toys (from big manufacturers) safer for our kids, but because of the language (or lack of) in the document, it will inadvertently affect ALL of us crafters and hand made designers alike. Here's the following text from Change.ORG. You can vote and if there are enough votes, the top 10 ideas will be presented to President Obama for review.
The site has lots of traffic right now, so you might get an error but just refresh a few times and you'll get there. Here's the link:
In 2007, large toy manufacturers who outsource their production to China and other developing countries violated the public's trust. They were selling toys with dangerously high lead content, toys with unsafe small parts, toys with improperly secured and easily swallowed small magnets, and toys made from chemicals that made kids sick. Almost every problem toy in 2007 was made in China.
The United States Congress rightly recognized that the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) lacked the authority and staffing to prevent dangerous toys from being imported into the US. So, they passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) in August, 2008. Among other things, the CPSIA bans lead and phthalates in toys, mandates third-party testing and certification for all toys and requires toy makers to permanently label each toy with a date and batch number.
All of these changes will be fairly easy for large, multinational toy manufacturers to comply with. Large manufacturers who make thousands of units of each toy have very little incremental cost to pay for testing and updating their molds to include batch labels. For small American, Canadian, and European toymakers, however, the costs of mandatory testing, to the tune of up to $4,000 per toy, will likely drive them out of business. And the handful of larger toy makers who still employ workers in the United States face increased costs to comply with the CPSIA, even though American-made toys had nothing to do with the toy safety problems of 2007. Toy makers won't be the only ones impacted by the CPSIA, the thousands of US businesses who offer clothing, jewelry and other gifts for children --in essence-- the entire children's industry will be as well.
The CPSIA simply forgot to exclude the class of toys that have earned and kept the public's trust. The result, unless the law is modified, is that handmade children's products will no longer be legal in the US.
Thriving small businesses are crucial to the financial health of our nation. Let's amend the CPSIA so that all businesses large and small are able to comply and survive! "