Friday, January 9, 2009

Pulling out the ole' soapbox

My Sis called me yesterday on my way home. She was "aggravated, mad & angry." Since she used so many adjectives in one sentence, I naturally asked why.

This is why.

"As of February 10, 2009, it will be illegal to resell any used children's products, including toys and clothing. That is according to the U.S. Consumer Protection & Safety Commission, who pushed for the new laws after dozens of toys were recalled in 2008 because of lead concerns."

I'm all for safety, especially in regards to babies and children, but this is a little extreme. In my opinion, it should be against the law to resell car seats and mattresses. Car seats because you don't know if they have been in a previous car accident and may not be effective in protecting your child. Mattresses for obvious sanitation reasons.

However when it comes to used clothing or toys, I think it should be the parent's decision.This law is just entirely too broad to institute the way it is written and it will have detrimental effects on parents nationwide. Not to mention businesses such as Once Upon A Child that specialize in selling used items.

I know lots of parents that not only purchase items from stores like this, but they also sell their items to stores like this. Is it really the time to move towards removing yet another portion of our economy? There are over 230 locations nationwide that will have no choice but to close their doors to consumers and their employees.

With 7.2% of the population already unemployed the last thing we need is take away jobs and make it harder for parents to afford to clothe their kids.

And I won't even start on what that will mean to non-profit organizations that have thrift stores such as the Salvation Army or DAV. Nor will I get into the fact that all of these items will now land in our overcrowded landfills. How green is that?

I love how they are justifying this ridiculous law by citing the lead recalls from last year. But have they stopped imports from China? No. Have they tested all imported toys? No.

And yet the direct quote from the CDC says "Toys that have been made in other countries and then imported into the U.S. or antique toys and collectibles passed down through generations put children at risk for such exposure."

They blatantly state it's imported toys. Shouldn't refusing imports be the first step in eliminating lead based toys?

Better yet isn't there a way to encourage more toys be made in the USA, where there are strict regulations? Is ANYTHING still made in the USA? I'd like to note here that the new pair of Levi's I bought over the weekend was made in Egypt.

Yep that's right even Levi's are now imported.

Back to the subject at hand. If you would like to make your voice heard and help stop this ludicrous law please go HERE and sign the petition.

I did. Will you?

**EDIT** To be fair THIS article explains exemptions that are pending final approval. This doesn't change how I feel but I'm happy to see that the government is taking steps to review the original regulation.


April said...

That is so stupid!!! (I was really trying to be nice with that one). I will be signing it in just a minute.

Brandy said...

April - You don't have to be nice on my blog. I'm pissed - and what really pisses me off is that I just found out about it. I guess with all the politics and bail outs this one squeaked by and it's complete bullshit.

I feel like the government doesn't want to effect our relationship with China, or apparently the Chinese economy but hey, fuck our own people. Pull more jobs out from under people AND make it harder to clothe your kids. All while making it easier to receive imports.


Misadventurous Mommy said...

This is by far one of the craziest things I have ever heard! I agree with you it should be 100% completely up to the parents, not the government and I also second the notion that they should first put a ban on the reselling of imported toys. This will have devastating affects for so many people, business owners, employees at those places, and moms like you, me, and millions of others who rely on Once Upon a Child and stores like it to help ease the burden of buying clothes for our kids.

Kat said...

Sometimes regulations are a really good thing. We are safer with rules about what is allowed and what is not. But sometimes, they are so not well thought out. Like no child left behind. And this one.

but there is already a reprieve:,0,6917858.story

Brandy said...

Kat - Even with the exemptions there would still be many items, clothing, equipment and toys that will not be able to be resold without a certificate proclaiming it lead free.

While they may have had good intentions when signing the bill, it's obvious that none of them thought it out very much. I'm happy that they are at least reviewing it and willing to take measures to rectify it; however, I don't think it's the governments place to decide what we are allowed to buy our children. The problem is much larger than reselling clothing.

If the reasoning behind the law is to protect our children from lead there are many more OBVIOUS ways they could prevent those items from even being distributed in America much less being resold.

Carrie said...

Your sis can sleep easy because the CPSC just released a statement yesterday clarifying the new law in regards to thrift/resale stores. You can read it here. It will NOT affect them at all.

But it will be a big problem for small companies who can't afford to pay for all the testing that is required by the new law.

I have lots more to say about this whole thing, but I'll refrain for now...

You missed me, didn't you?? " )

Denise said...

Thank you for bringing this to my attention. You're so right. Let's bail out the financial giants so they can run off and have multi thousand dollar retreats. Let's bail out car manufacturers who have been arrogant for years. But let's also kill small businesses. Its crazy. Think before you act Congress! Get the facts!

BoufMom9 said...

This is just awful! I can't imagine!!! I have yard sales all the time! Is someone going to check to see that the clothes and things i am selling are ok??? ridiculous!
Can we say communism now???

Veggie Mom said...

But what about the cool yard sales I go to every weekend? I'll sign!

Shannon said...

This has to be one of the dumbest bills ever passed...

Holly said...

Yet another example of why we need to clean out Congress. I signed the petition.