Myth 1: It’s the government’s job to test for lead.

ImageParents and lobbyists have demanded that legislation be passed to ensure the toys that reach our children’s mouths are 100% safe for human consumption. As Nancy Pelosi says, ‘It should be a given that toys are not dangerous. Our children’s toys will be tested in the laboratory, before they are tested by our children on the living room floors of America.” Well, the American people have spoken and they have received a reply…

In the past year 45 million toys and products were recalled due to “dangerously” high lead and pthalate contents. Yesterday the House of Representatives voted to give more muscle to the Consumer Product Safety Commission to rigorously test toys for lead and six types of phthalates. A proposed bill would double the budget of the Consumer Product Safety Commission to $136,000,000 by 2014. Today that amount of money is half of the 2008 education budget for the entire state of Wyoming. Where is this money coming from? Me. You. Childless U.S. taxpayers. Half of the school-age kids in Wyoming.

How about this for a wild and crazy notion? Let’s pass the financial burden of testing for lead on to the manufacturers who are profiting from the toys.  Or, let’s stop wasting our money on government babysitting services and buy fewer toys, that are higher quality, made by a trusted few toy manufacturers? (Here is a long list to choose from…)

We have options. We are in control of this. We can start today by being more selective shoppers. Furthermore, our kids don’t need as many toys as they have. Do you remember having a lot of toys as a child? Probably not because toys were more expensive and less readily available when we were children (at least they were in the old days when I was a kid). Let’s take back our own power and our own wallets. The cost may be that we can’t stoll down the aisles at Target and buy every toy our kids point to. I’ll happlily pay that price.

7 Responses

  1. Darn parents and lobbyists…actually trying to protect kids….shame on them.

  2. What kind of world are we living in? Sometimes I really wonder.

  3. A better way of stating this would be that it’s a myth that the government will keep your kids safe, or that the government insures that child products are safe. Whether the government should or shouldn’t do so is more of an opinion than a myth. And I believe that they SHOULD continue to do more. I also believe that it’s a myth that they are doing enough and that we are safe putting out children in their hands.

  4. So…..are you saying that lead in toys is no real risk, or are you just mad at parents for buying their kids too many toys? What if I only buy my kids 5 toys of two of them have a harmful amount of lead content. They play with these two toys more because they only have five toys in all, call it the odds or call it bad luck. The kids with many toys has these same two toys but far less exposure because they spread their attentions to the rest of their greedy stash. See how easy that was! Uh oh! Two different and entirely unrelated arguments that you are trying really hard to correlate.
    Classic convoluted argument and proof that even savvy skeptics can’t avoid all the pitfalls of the vain human psyche.

  5. Barb,
    Neither. Reread the article.

  6. The burden of cost SHOULD be put on the manufacturer for maintaining and producing safe toys for our children. Why should it be a taxpayer burden? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind if the government checks up on the manufacturer, they should, as a system of checks and balances. But the cost should ultimately be on the manufacturer.

  7. The cost, ultimately falls on the consumer – manufacturers don’t make things at a loss. And while I think manufacturers *should* be responsible for ensuring the safety of their product I also think governments have a role to play in policing that when public health is at stake. This isn’t an activity that an individual is very able to take on their own.

    I’m not sure why it’s so outrageous or even odd that a national department should have a budget that’s more than half the size of a non-comparable department from one of the least populous states.

    I don’t think the new toy safety legislation that came in is at all good, but not simply because governments shouldn’t be involved in ensuring product safety. Also, you might try busting the myth that American manufacturing is so superior – you remember our recent little peanut butter problem don’t you? 100% US home-grown disregard for safe manufacturing in the pursuit of profit.

    This isn’t an auspicious start to a myth busting blog. Glad most of the rest of your posts seem to be better reasoned.

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