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The unfortunate news that another 9 million toys tainted with lead paint or dangerous small magnets were recalled today underscores many problems.
First, parents should understand that the government itself does not test products to ensure that they comply with mandatory standards - that's left up to manufacturers.
Second, those manufacturers cannot merely rely on relationships with and promises from foreign suppliers - they must trust, but verify that tough American standards are met.
Third, the CPSC lacks the leadership, the money, the staff and the legal authority it needs to protect us from dangerous imported or domestically produced products. This recall should be a lesson to all manufacturers that it can happen to anybody. It should also serve as a wakeup call to Congress that the headless CPSC needs a safety-oriented chairperson, more money, more authority and more staff.
Letter from U.S. PIRG, Consumers Union and Consumer Federation of America to Congress and the administration proposing tougher import safety standards
Recent blog detailing CPSC's lack of authority, leadership and money.
For breaking news on China, toy recalls and the CPSC, see the U.S. PIRG Consumer Blog http://www.uspirg.org/html/consumer and type “China” in the search engine.
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