Saving handmade toys

Normally, I'm not one for deregulation. Witness the subprime mortgage crisis. In the case of toys, though, I have to stand up and say, "What the?!"

The Consumer Products Safety Commission, acting on terrifying stories about lead in the toys coming out of China that have made children sick, enacted some legislation this year that imposes rigid standards on makers of toys. They have to pay third parties to do extensive safety testing (particularly for lead) on the toys they sell. For the public concerned about corporations that import toys from other countries with lax standards, this is great news. For small businesses and crafty individuals who make and sell toys and other children's products, though, it could mean the end of what they do.

Kent has a lot of handmade toys that we and some of you have gotten him, and they have a special place in my heart. He has wooden trains and cars, handmade puppets, a stuffed rabbit from a craft fair, and lots of other little treasures. I can't imagine not being able to find toys like this in the future, but if makers of unique toys like these are forced out of business because they can't pay a third-party tester, we'll only be able to find toys that are mass-marketed, since only corporations will be able to afford to comply with the new standards. Exceptions should be made for toys made in the United States, Canada, and Europe, countries that already have high safety standards for toys.

Okay, so you get my point. If you agree, go to this helpful site and at least sign their online petition. Toy makers have just over a month to comply with the new standards, so time is running out. Not to be overly dramatic, but, you know, I don't want Mattel and Fisher-Price running the world.

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This is driving me crazy as well! While I support the gov't ensuring that things imported from other places are not laced with lead and other things, I am not sure about this one.

Hand made toys are awesome!
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