Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Don't confuse me with the facts...

Despite the high costs of compliance, loss of jobs and declining product selection due to CPSIA, Chairman Waxman is pursuing his amendment to provide a very narrow exception to only two groups while small businesses are being driven from the children's product market even though their products do not pose genuine risks to children.

Monday, April 19, 2010

As Congress debates ‘too big to fail’ here’s what the government is doing to Main Street…

As a Kentuckian who knows how badly we need more jobs, it's a shame to hear from a local hometown business who is genuinely trying to comply with the CPSIA, but finding that the costs are so great that they simply cannot afford the testing. Please read the letter I received below and if you have a similar story, email it to me at Commissioner_Northup@cpsc.gov.

"Last week we selected several more products to eliminate from our product offerings. The products are safe, do not violate any of the CPSIA standards and have been around for over 50 years, but they are too complicated and have too many different parts. Therefore they are too costly to have tested and retested over and over again to prove they are safe. I hope some small companies and some decent product selection can survive in this new world where all products are presumed to be guilty. The only survivors will be the ones that are safe and can also afford to prove they are safe.

The group of items that we decided to discontinue are several kinds of dolls that have lots of different colors and accessories and some plastic to test for phthalates. We would have an average about $1500/doll each time we had to test due to a batch change. If we order them 3 times per year it would be $4500/doll in testing costs to be certain that nothing had changed from any of the suppliers that provide the raw materials that make up the doll parts and/or colors and accessories. With 26 different types of dolls, that would come out to $117,000 per year we would spend on testing. Based upon our sales volume we would lose money every time we order the doll.

This week we are dealing with another toy item that had a piece of PVC pipe as part of the toy. We tested the pipe which is a common pvc pipe like millions of people have in their homes and drink water from each day. We found that the pvc is slightly over the minimum acceptable for one of the phthalates. We are now spending $12,000 (more than doubling the cost of the toy) to replace the pipe components and to expedite shipping so we minimize the amount of money and customers we lose to competitors for this item. If phthalates in water pipes aren't hurting anyone, then how can the pipe in this toy cause a problem? We are spending the money, delivering a revised toy at a loss and complying with the law because we fear being put out of business with a large fine, not because we are saving some child from a dangerous encounter with this product.

I guess we and other small companies will continue to shut down product offerings, reduce employees, reduce our income taxes and eventually there may not be enough money to fund the wasteful efforts from Washington. Nature has a way of correcting problems even if we aren't clever enough to do it on our own. I hope somehow we can find a way to curb this monster and get back to focusing on safety issues.”

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

This blog should come with a warning label

As my blog is entitled "Safety And Common Sense" and we are trying to find a balance between safety and a vibrant market, this article seemed especially appropriate...

"WARNING: This Column May Be Hazardous" By Tim Rowland

Monday, April 12, 2010

Chomp, Chomp

Hugh Hewitt warns that the Database Monster will devour American business

Later this week, the Commission will be voting on a proposed rule on how we will be implementing the consumer database, a publicly available consumer product database with reports of harm that can be generated by just about anyone—and on any consumer product from baby cribs to toasters. If you haven’t heard about it, Hugh Hewitt’s article above sums up the different abuses that could crop up from the “reports.”

Thursday, April 8, 2010

In Case You Missed It...

A Wall Street Journal editorial this week defines Waxman’s proposed “functional purpose” exemption perfectly – “A fix of a bad law that is no fix at all.”
Click here to read the WSJ editorial, "Waxman's Lead Poison"
Click here to read my letter to Congressman Waxman

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Blogging About Our Blog

There's hope! Isn't it great that someone as highly regarded as Hugh Hewitt understands the importance of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) and the negative impact it is having on small businesses? I had the honor of joining Hugh Hewitt on his national radio show Monday where we discussed the loss of jobs and high costs of the CPSIA. Didn't somebody famous once say "It's the economy, stupid"?

"Her blog --unique among appointed officials in D.C. in its transparency and its specificity--ought to be a model for federal appointees dealing with controversial subjects like the CPSIA."

Thanks, Hugh - you're terrific!

Click here for a transcript of my appearance on the Hugh Hewitt Show

Friday, April 2, 2010

No Foolin’ Here – CPSC Issues Reasonable Definition of a “Children’s Product”

This week I was pleased to join my fellow Commissioners in approving the proposed rule on the definition of “children’s product” because I believe it is a sound attempt at interpreting this term in the clearest, most flexible manner for manufacturers and consumers. As we wait to see if Congress will amend the law to address its overreach, including lowering the age range to a more risk-based scope, this proposal at least helps us to focus the age limit downward.

It is important that the agency receive as much feedback as possible on this proposed rule, particularly from the manufacturers whose products occupy the “grey area” between the pre-teen and teenage groups or that produce items intended for both children and adults. So please go to www.Regulations.gov and submit comments in the next 60 days!

Click here to read my full statement.