Dumb and Dumber: Toys From China & Lobbyists from NAM

So you operate a toy company and along the way, you probably offshored your production to China to save money. And now that Americans have awakened to the obvious problems with your business plan, you want to still sell your toys to the public without testing them for lead.

Your options: 1) sell your inventory before February 10, 2009, when the new lead regulations come into effect; 2) do nothing and just risk it; and/or 3) lobby to make the standards non-retroactive.

Dear readers, would you be surprised if our friends who cut corners by offshoring to China would choose option 3? Melanie Trottman reports in today’s Journal that:

…Mr. Woldenberg [a toy seller] said he believes that few, if any, of his company’s goods have lead in excess of the new standards, he has started to have the inventory tested. Meanwhile, he has written to the Consumer Product Safety Commission and congressional staffers, asking for an indefinite amount of time to sell off his older inventory.

The National Association of Manufacturers and other trade groups have also asked regulators and Congress not to apply the new lead standard to products made before the standard was set.

“There’s the potential loss of billions of dollars in inventory that is deemed safe for purchase on Feb. 9 but deemed unsafe Feb. 10” unless proved otherwise, said Jim Neill, an association spokesman.

Deemed safe on February 9th but not on the 10th? We should ask Jim Neill how much lead he thinks is safe for his children–the February 9th or the February 10th standard.