Now I Know the CPSC Doesn’t Care

Fri, November 23, 2007

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Having worked for a federal agency that annually goes underfunded and understaffed, initially I sympathized a teensy bit with the Consumer Product Safety Commission over the whole lead in toys fiasco.

Don’t call the League of Maternal Justice on me! I’m not justifying their actions, or lack thereof, but there’s only so much that can be done when an agency’s budget gets cut over and over again.

After I watched a CPSC spokesperson on CNN right before Thanksgiving, though, I realized my generosity was misplaced.

You see, it’s not their fault, they say, that so many dangerous toys are making their way into the system. You know, it’s not even their responsibility to catch them all. And hey, they have all of about 80 people, not one, keeping track of the millions of toys that come into our country and into our children’s toy boxes every year.

If our children aren’t being kept safe from dangerous toys, it’s partly our fault, said the CPSC spokesperson. And they can’t do their job unless we’re on the lookout for problems that we then report to them.

Yeah, that’s right.

It’s our fault and even though we’re not on Uncle Sam’s payroll, the CPSC wants us to get with the program and be more vigilant about reporting problems we see with toys!

Well, maybe she didn’t use the actual word ‘fault.’ But that was the clear implication with her comments and her snippy tone of voice and her oh-so-righteous body language. She was pretty much mocking American parents with this attitude — hey, don’t expect the CPSC to keep your toys safe.

‘Cause shouldn’t parents be checking to make sure toys are safe, too? And, hey, the CPSC has some resources, but they rely on consumers to tip them off to toys that could be harmful to our kids, she continued.

I realize there is definitely some truth to what this woman was saying, but her underlying message was that we’re a bunch of slacker parents who have no right to rely on the federal agency specifically tasked with making sure the toys our kids play with don’t kill them.

Next thing you know, they’ll be blaming Santa and the elves for not doing their jobs.

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5 Responses to “Now I Know the CPSC Doesn’t Care”

  1. Motherhood Uncensored Says:

    WOW. Just wow.

    While it is IMPORTANT that people know that not all toys made in China are bad, I’d love to just stick it to them and buy small and safe this year. Support the moms and pops out there that have been making safe toys for years.

    This just pisses me off!

  2. Lawyer Mama Says:

    Oh. my. god.

    I’m not buying any toys this year. I’m doing a big craft box and a dress up box for the boys.

    But maybe I should buy a home lead detection test for the kiddos too. I mean, who knows what Santa will bring and I don’t want to end up as part of a class action law suit against the elves.

  3. motherbumper Says:

    Nothing like gov’t agencies passing blame for this one – sure we need to be responsible and vigilant as parents but aren’t they our first line of defense against dangerous goods? If not, why are the American people paying them again? Awesome post.

  4. impromptublogger Says:

    Gee, I must have misplaced my lead analysis lab test kit!

    It makes me glad my dd is a bit older now and doesn’t play with all those toys that have been recalled. However, I still do worry about some of what she plays with.

  5. laurie Says:

    my kids are just getting hand-hewn 2x4s and a bag of compost this year. this whole thing has veered sharply toward the absurd.


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