This is a blog for parents and as such we likely buy toys for our children. Dozens of times I have written about toys.. Natural and Safe Dolls, green toys, the best toddler toys, toys with PVC and phthalates, lead in toys, etc. I even wrote about Natural Toys and CPSIA a couple times and how that dangerous legislation could limit our access to the safest toys for our kids.
So color me outraged when I read an article from the Washingtom Examiner about how two major toy companies.. Mattel and Hasbro actually lobbied for this legislation. Why? Well, they would no doubt tell us it is to save our children from the dangers of lead and other unsafe things in toys. But my guess is that they want to put small, ethical toy makers out of business and limit our toy buying options. They know full well that most small toy makers, the same toy makers whose products were already safe, will not be able to absorb the costs associated with legislation like this. The real kicker is that Mattel is the company who kicked off the lead toys scare. THEY were the reckless and irresponsible company that reminded us we need to be careful of what our kids play with when THEY put thousands of lead laced toys on the market.
Another slap in the face for consumers is this piece from the Los Angeles Times. Check this out:
Toy makers, clothing manufacturers and other companies selling products for young children are submitting samples to independent laboratories for safety tests. But the nation’s largest toy maker, Mattel, isn’t being required to do the same.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission recently, and quietly, granted Mattel’s request to use its own labs for testing that is required under a law Congress passed last summer after a rash of recalls of toys contaminated by lead. Six of those toys were produced by Mattel Inc. and its Fisher-Price subsidiary.
The whole basis of this legislation was to take the control of toy safety testing out of the hands of the toy makers, since profits could be placed before toy safety. Now we find out that that the company who started all this is getting a free pass? They are immune to this law?!!
According to Mattel they should be treated special because:
It has demonstrated to the product safety agency that its products go through rigorous safety tests. Company spokeswoman Lisa Marie Bongiovanni also said that Mattel has an appropriate “fire wall” in place to ensure test results are protected from corporate influence.
“We have extremely qualified people who work feet away from our production lines,” Bongiovanni said. “It allows us to do more testing than any other toy company out there.”
So says the company that just agreed to pay a $2.3-million civil penalty for violating the lead paint ban. Sounds reasonable… NOT!
There are numerous reasons why we don’t need the over marketed, hyped up, low quality, plastic junk that they sell anyway but this is yet another reason. As consumers we need to send our money to ethical toy companies that REALLY care about the safety of our kids. They need our support now more than ever.
Are you committed to buying quality natural toys from ethical companies? Comment below and tell me what and where you are buying… inquiring minds would like to know.
Tuesday, September 8th, 2009