Wednesday, January 7, 2009

CPSIA trying to put Suzi Homemaker out of business, but I'm not going down without a fight!

A lot has been written around the blogosphere about the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), which was passed in August 2008 and will go into effect on Feb. 10 of this year. The law, although its intentions were good, could, in effect, wipe out an entire cottage industry in this country. Small businesses that produce/sell children's products (like Suzi Homemaker and Babycapes) are going to be required to implement extensive and expensive testing on all products that are used by children under the age of 12.

Among other things, the CPSIA bans lead and phthalates in children's products, mandates third party testing and certification, and requires manufacturers of all goods for children under the age of 12, to permanently label each item with a date and batch number.

As I interpret the law (and I have seen many different interpretations of the law because it is so convoluted), I will be required to conduct third party testing on all products that I sell that could be used by children under the age of 12 even if I am merely embellishing products that I have purchased from another vendor (the rationale being that I have altered the product by adding thread which was not present during initial testing).

Products that have not undergone testing, such as ones among the hundreds of products I have in my inventory, will be considered contraband after February 10, 2009. According to the website, "It will be illegal to sell or give these items away to charities, and the government will require their destruction or permanent disposal, resulting in millions of tons of unnecessary waste, and placing an enormous strain on our landfills."

This is starting to sound a bit like Nazi Germany, and I don't know about you, but I enjoy the freedoms that have been provided to me in what once was a great country. That I could decide out of the blue to start my own business from home in order to augment my family's income and allow me the freedom to spend time with my children is an amazing gift. Congress, please don't take that gift away from me and other moms out there who have set upon similar missions.

I could go on and on about this topic ad nauseum, but, in the interest of time, I have added a button to my sidebar that will take you to the Ideas for Change in America website.

Ideas for Change in America is a nationwide competition to identify the best ideas for change in America. The top 10 ideas will be presented to the Obama administration just before inauguration day and form the basis of a nationwide advocacy campaign to turn each idea into actual policy. If you want to help save handmade and mom-made businesses, click on that little button and vote to change this law. Currently, this cause is #8 on the list.


Amy {Mom Spark} said...

Suzi-I just became aware of this when I saw a story on the local news. I'm so mad!

I need to put a post on Mom Made That! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Suzi Homemaker said...

I have been approaching a number of manufacturers at America's Mart and am surprised that very few of them are concerned about this and some aren't even aware--how can this be? It seems that it is being amended almost daily--taking comfort in that!