Sunday, January 4, 2009

New Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act re: all children's products - Feb. 10 - Will you make your voice heard, violate law or close your doors?

Written by Guest Blogger and Our Milk Money Member Tristan Benz

SOON TO BE ILLEGAL - this cute little bag made partly from recycled goods.

To those of us it may concern,

I debated posting this - the idea is not to scare but to mobilize and take positive action - so I finally decided to post - after you finish breathing into a paper bag, I hope you'll simply take reasonable action...

To all who promote / make / sell children's products (includes handmade, imported / mass produced, all USED items, new items, you name it), I hope you're aware of the new law that goes into effect Feb. 10. I have emailed Cantwell, here in our state (copy of that communication is below), and urge you to do the same with your own state reps.

This new law effects ALL items sold to children, retroactively (so all products - not just clothing - to include ALL used stuff - i.e. everthing from Toys R Us to Ebay sellers, to mom and pop manufactures, to local thrift stores - yep, even Salvation Army and Goodwill that both employ and serve those who can well use the jobs and the goods are also a target - etc.).

It's a widespread, well-intended law that hasn't (in my view) been written well at all - it has the real potential to put all of us small business owners (read, backbone of the economy) out of business. I have to wonder who / what this new law actually serves - big business doesn't need another helping hand, does it? Should we all be forced to buy only what mass producers make because they can afford to cope with this new law? In actual fact, it impacts them, too - and I'm hoping the 'big boys' will get in there and take some real swings at this - can't imagine Toys R Us, WalMart and all major retailers are going to take this one lying down...?! Either way, they can afford it so you're likely to still have the benefit of all those cheap goods you can't then recycle for any fees at a local thrift...hmmm!

As much as I care about what goes into our environment and what we expose our children to, this law is to the point of ridiculousness - way too over-reaching. Please read for yourself. I strongly urge all well-intentioned parents and business owners like us to work in solidarity, to contact our state elected officials (OUR voice?!) and make our concerns clearly known.

Personally, seeing the active practice of law-making 'for our own good' leaves me cringing - I believe it was Adolf Hitler that said, "What good fortune for governments that people do not think."

BUT also worth remembering, it was GEORGE WASHINGTON that said, "Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light."

For all of us doing a good honest job of it in the world, let truth prevail and voices of parents (and will the real middle class please stand up?) be raised.

It should be nothing less than totally obvious by now what I'm about - that I'd rather leave our children with choices THEY can make for themselves than with a government making all of their choices 'on their behalf' in future. If we give up this right for ourselves now, doesn't it stand to reason that we give it up for our children, too? By whose estimating is this kind of government activity qualified as of the people, by the people and, ultimately, FOR the people?

It can also be nothing less than clear that I believe this is OUR time to take total responsibility for what happens now that impacts the future and decide what OUR children will inherit from our generation's input (passive or not). There are many more issues beyond how much debt we leave them to resolve...! Personally, I think freedom of choice and expression top sweeping, quiet legislation "for their own good."

All of this takes me back to why I started a pro-parent business in the first place. My initial concern was about marketers sidelining parents - getting our kids to listen to them using anti-adult, anti-parent messages and direct appeals to their vulnerable nature, etc. (read Born To Buy by Juliet Schor). Where are we going that government can legislate our parental choices for us now? Aren't WE the ones who should have the authority to make choices on behalf of our children? Why are we being rendered so unnecessary to that process here? I don't know about the rest of you but, personally, I'm going to ask questions like this as long as we still have the right to do so in this country!

Finally, before posting the links and my letter to our state Rep, I want to put this thought out there - I know there are some people in the world that, for whatever reason, deny the holocaust ever happened - to the vast majority of those who agree it happened I say, if the holocaust can happen, than anything we think is 'impossible' can, as well. Laws can increasingly get enacted "on our behalf" and will continue to do so unless / until we stand up an remind ourselves of what it means to be a citizen in a free nation created by people who went to great pains and great risk and sacrifice to create this country; to give us these rights we all claim to so cherish; to write our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution. If you haven't read these since grade school, they're still very good reading!

As far as I have been educated, it is the job of the government to inform the people - how many people knew about this legislation in August? The LA Times Jan. 2 article claims 1 in 6 retailers they contacted had any inkling of this new law. What does that tell us? And when it comes to speaking for the "middle class position" (see the link below) many of us were consulted prior to creating the draft of this law? I certainly never got a

Okay, this was my communication to Cantwell:

Dear Ms. Cantwell,


Like many retailers who sell to children (who even know about this), I'm totally unnerved by the new CPSC LEGISLATION that impacts ALL companies that manufacture / sell products for children.

We manufacture MADE IN WASHINGTON, handmade, patent-pending accessories for children and are a very pro-parent / pro-child company. Our online store is located at

On a larger note, why we need to legislate COMMON SENSE in our counry is just beyond me. It's high time we get back to WE THE PEOPLE running the country and making our own choices with our own free will - NOT accepting the status quo of having our choices legislated and mandated by quietly sweeping congressional means and measures. I'm so done with ALL politicians - it's time for real people with real common sense to step in and stand up.

Kind Regards,
Tristan Benz
Please note: This article has been condensed. To view the blog in it's entirety, please visit:
Maiden America

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for your post! I hand craft children's accessories and have been working with a group,, about this very issue. We also have this issue on Here's the link so that your readers can vote on the importance of a technical amendment to this law.

    I would love to network with you more and jointly work on changing this law. I hope you will be in touch! And, keep up the good work!

    Jill Chuckas
    Owner, Designer