Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A Different Label to Read

I saw an interesting article on the front page of my local newspaper recently. The article gave part of the blame for the lead-based painted toys from China on the Bush administration.

Now, I am all about blaming Dubya when I can, but how could these two things be related? It seems, the article suggests, that the Bush administration stalled efforts to get greater regulations on imported children's products, and also shifted the Consumer Product Safety Commission's efforts to a more manufacturer-friendly path. Even when that path included allowing lead-based paint in toys to slip through the system.

China's deputy director of global trade, Guo Li Sheng, is currently pushing for international rules that would allow lead-based paint on children's products. His argument is that labeling the products would be adequate instead.

The thing is, Mattel never allowed for lead paint to be used in the manufacture of its toys. The paint was just cheaper to use, so the Chinese manufacturer used it.

Now, let's add logic to the mix:

Logically, Mattel would never know (unless they tested, and did) that the toys contain lead since that was not part of the specifications provided to the Chinese manufacturer. Logically, no toy company would want to try and sell toys labeled as containing lead either, since they would not sell in the first place. Labeling is not a good solution. Thus, if toys made in China may contain lead, and won't be labeled, there is only one logical thing for us parents to do.

Just look for the label that says "Made in China." And leave it on the shelf.

They're our children. It's our decision. The powers that be don't care about our children's safety, we do.


Her Grace said...

Wait. Did I read that correctly? They want to use lead based paint on children's toys and think that's ok, as long as they label it??

Absurd. More than absurd. I'm dumbfounded.

The Expatriate Chef said...

No kidding. Yeah, read the full article. It is absurd.