Rep. Mary Bono Mack Loves Toys

"As I have said many times—as a mother—I have very strong, passionate feelings about protecting all children. But as a former small business owner, I know all too well how unnecessary regulations—even well intentioned ones—can destroy lives, too."

That's Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade at today's markup of a bill designed to fix a sloppy, badly-written consumer safety law that's been on the books since 2008. The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) was a mess from the get-go. Small toymakers, motorcycle manufacturers, secondhand book stores, and children's jewelers suddenly found themselves on the hook for prohibitively expensive testing—or out of business altogether—all because massive toy manufacturer Mattel failed to properly oversee its Chinese factories. (Of course, Mattel later finagled an exception to the rules requiring that expensive third-party testing.)  

Bono Mack's proposed tweaks to the law, as part of the Enhancing CPSC Authority and Discretion Act of 2011, are impressively commonsensical: The new rules would require a cost-benefit analysis (wild!) to see if mandatory third-party testing of virtually anything a kid might come in contact with is actually cost-effective at improving safety. If the answer is "not always"—as it certainly will be—the law would empower the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to change the regulations. 

Until now, the CPSC has complained that the way the original law was written gave them no leeway in enforcement. Only Congress could clean up its own mess.

A mere 4 years after the initial recalls, it looks like a semi-decent consumer safety law may finally be in the works. 

Lots more CPSIA blogging here.

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  • ||

    the law would empower the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to change the regulations.

    Or not. Seeing as they are only empowered, and not required, to.

  • Joe M||

    Right. How much pressure will they be under from clueless advocacy groups?

  • ||

    What's pressure got do to with it? Mattel has piles of cash, and they'll make sure that the rules keep small competitors out of their way.

    -jcr

  • rather||

    I'm tired of seeing just naked girl, even sex-changed Vhoorlinians. Don't you have any male specimens?

  • ||

    Getting hungry, rectal?

  • for ||

    a real man-go away little boy

  • ||

    "The new rules would require a cost-benefit analysis (wild!) to see if mandatory third-party testing of virtually anything a kid might come in contact with is actually cost-effective at improving safety."

    So the proposal is to do a study to see if a study would be cost-effective? Sounds like an additional layer of bureaucracy to me.

    Maybe next a study could be done to see if the study of the study is cost effective...

  • ||

    Incisive.

  • Jim||

    Not enough Cthulu alt-text on this site, so +1 for this one.

  • ||

    BTW, this fails the laugh test:

    I know all too well how unnecessary regulations—even well intentioned ones—can destroy lives, too.

    Come on, now.

  • ||

    We've seen you herp, but how bout a little derp?

  • ||

    Wow you have to admit thats kinda crazy dude.

    www.anon-web.es.tc

  • ||

    "a semi-decent consumer safety law may finally be in the works."

    ???????????????????????????????????????

    Let me channel one of the people in history I loathe most, "Ah, the only decent safety law is a dead safety law."

  • Gene Berkman||

    The original law passed the Senate with only 3 "no" votes, and only Ron Paul voted against it in the House of Representatives.

  • Shelby||

    The more unanimously a law passes, the worse it is. (That's not an iron law, but I've found it's a reliable rule of thumb.)

  • ||

    Until now, the CPSC has complained that the way the original law was written gave them no leeway in enforcement.

    The Clean Air Act doesn't give them much leeway in regulating CO2 emissions either, but they seem more confident about that for some reason.

  • ||

    Bono? Bo knows?

  • Kolohe||

    At first glance, didn't read the 's' in 'loves' and thought this was a sort of "markets in everything" post.

  • Comment Tater||

    "As a mother..."

    Run!

  • Jason||

    Am I the only one who thought this story would be about something completely different when I saw the title?

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