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Consumer Protection Smackdown: Happy Meal Toys vs. Sock Puppets?

We said we’d never do it, but of course we do. Like millions of Americans, we sometimes feed fast food to the kids. And yes, we do let the kids keep the toys! As the parent of a toddler who will chew on anything, I fear these toys. Remember the dangerous lead levels found in toys from China, leading to massive recalls in 2007?

Right now the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) is creating new rules about toxic toys. The CPSC is going in the right direction working toward making toys safe, but they still need to make critical refinements. Make sure they don’t throw the baby out with the bath water by accidentally limiting our ability to purchase safe hand crafted toys. http://www.momsrisingaction.org/o/1768/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=26508

As I watched my husband and my orally-fixated toddler wrestled over this week’s ninja cat (or was it a burping monster? A pretty pony?), I was really thankful MomsRising members helped pass the Consumer Products Safety Information Act (CPSIA).

Yes, after February 10, the CPSIA goes into effect, and all children’s products sold in the US will have to meet rigorous new safety standards. This is an awesome victory for parents.

But for some families there has been a less-than-awesome side effect.

My neighborhood has been abuzz with rumors of the potential harm this new legislation could cause to small businesses that make and sell children’s products. Questions are coming up about how small businesses will be able to meet the new standards. Some questions include: What will happen to those moms who supplement their family income (and nurture their creative spirits) selling unique handmade crafts? Will they need to pay for expensive safety testing for their one-of-a-kind products? And what about consumers? Will we still be able to buy the handmade products we love?

Right now, there is enormous confusion because the Consumer Products Safety Commission is still working on the details of this new law.

That's where you come in. We need your help! Send a letter urging the CPSC to use commonsense to protect safe handmade children’s products. http://www.momsrisingaction.org/o/1768/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=26508

The CPSC is currently writing the specific rules for testing of children's products. We should make sure that crafters who use only natural, non-toxic materials to hand-make dolls, toys, clothes, and other children's accessories do not have to pay for expensive third-party testing before they sell their wares. Instead, they should be able to continue making and selling their crafts using certified toxic-free components.

Adopting this commonsense rule will mean we don’t have to choose between safe toys in our kids meals and handmade treasures at craft fairs.

Here’s the link to send your letter to the CPSC now: http://www.momsrisingaction.org/o/1768/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=26508

P.S. As a reminder about the dangers of toxic toys, read: http://www.watoxics.org/issues/saferproducts .