05 January 2009

Save Handmade

Here's the deal:

In 2007 a whole bunch of toys (largely imported) were found to be dangerous-- lead paint, small parts easy to choke on, etc. Not good.

So Congress passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). It bans lead and phthalates and other such dangers from toys. Good!

It also mandates third-party testing and certification for all toys and requires toy makers to permanently label each toy with a date and batch number. Good, generally speaking.

These changes will be fairly easy for the
big dogs to deal with-- ie, large, multinational toy manufacturers.

But here's the problem:


For small, independent toymakers and artisans the cost of the regulations will likely drive them out of business. And not just toymakers... anyone who lovingly creates handmade goods for kids will have to pay the thousands of dollars necessary for third-party testing for each product.


No more handmade knit baby hats, embroidered onesies, cute plush dolls or games for sale.
Bottom line: Unless modified, the CPSIA will virtually make handmade toys illegal in the U.S!


We know that wasn't the intent of the legislation, but it will be the result. Amend the CPSIA so that all businesses, large and small, are able to comply and survive!


How You Can Help:

1. Click here to leave a comment for the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commision
asking them to address this unintended consquence of the CPSIA.

2. Write/call your U.S. Representative or Senator. Visit the Handmade Toy Alliance for templates and talking points.

3. Tell our President-Elect what you think. By heading over to change.org and voting for the "Save Handmade Toys from the CPSIA" cause, you can help bring the issue directly to President-Elect Obama. The top 10 rated ideas from this final round of voting will be presented to the Obama administration on January 16th at an event at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, co-hosted by the Case Foundation. At the event the Ideas for Change campaign will also announce the launch of a national advocacy campaign behind each idea in collaboration with their nonprofit partners to turn each idea into actual policy. Saving Handmade Toys is currently in 7th Place and is in position to be part of the final 10 ideas presented in Washington, DC!

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