Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Toy Makers Fight for Exemption from Rules

(New York Times – Andrew Martin)

Is a football mainly for children? What about a Halloween costume or a model train?

None of the above, manufacturers say, as a new federal crackdown on dangerous toys has left some in the industry crying foul and not wanting to play. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has been swamped with requests to exempt playthings from the new regulations, put in place after extensive toy recalls several years ago.

The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 gave the commission the job of defining a “children’s product” – which includes such things as toys, clothing and household goods – and eventually enforcing the act. But coming up with that definition has become so difficult that the commission has postponed votes three times. Another vote is scheduled for Wednesday, but it is unclear if the five commissioners – three Democrats and two Republicans – can reach an agreement this time. A spokesman for the commission declined to comment. Read more here.