CPSC Amends Operating Plan to Reflect Concerns about Testing Burdens

CPSCAs reported by the Toy Industry Association (TIA), on December 13, the U.S. Senate passed an omnibus appropriations bill to fund government operations through next September. The bill included $123 million in funding for the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), which is the amount the agency asked for in its budget request for next year.

The committee report accompanying the bill includes a requirement that the CPSC allocate $1 million to reduce unnecessary and duplicative testing burdens. The language instructs the CPSC to provide a report within 90 days on the status of the agency’s testing burden reduction efforts, as well as a public timeline detailing what steps, if any, the agency will take to reduce testing costs while still assuring compliance. The accompanying report also includes a requirement that $4 million be allocated to import surveillance activities.

On Friday, December 12, the CPSC voted to amend the agency’s fiscal year operating plan for next year, after being strongly urged to use $1 million to find ways to reduce testing burdens. The agency voted 5 to 0 to amend their operating plan to include these funds.

Any questions related to this matter may be directed to the TIA’s Rebecca Mond, director of federal government affairs, at rmond@toyassociation.org.

TIA Analysis Challenges PIRG’s Trouble in Toyland Reports

Toy_Industry_Association_Inc_logoThe Toy Industry Association (TIA) recently conducted an in-depth review of the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) Trouble in Toyland reports issued between 2008 and 2013. The TIA’s analysis found that PIRG’s reports were based on improper testing methods that are not approved by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), and fail to support PIRG’s allegations that the identified toys present any danger to children at play.

Under federal legislation passed in 2008, toys sold at retail must be tested by a CPSC-accredited third-party testing lab, in order to prove compliance with more than 100 safety standard requirements. TIA’s examination, however, found that U.S. PIRG’s toy hazard claims and testing procedures over the past six years were not approved by the CPSC, and did not follow the same procedures that toy companies are required to follow by law.

Chiefly, none of the alleged safety issues named in PIRG’s reports were based on testing conducted by a CPSC-accredited lab; and out of the 88 products identified in PIRG’s Trouble in Toyland reports over the last six years, the CPSC has not recalled any toys as a result of PIRG’s allegations. In addition, 20 percent of the products named in PIRG’s reports between 2008 and 2013 are not classified as toys, and therefore are not governed by the same safety standards as children’s toys.

A copy of the complete TIA analysis of the 2008 to 2013 reports is available at the TIA website.

Report: 82 Percent of Singapore Toys Fail Safety Standards

According to Channel NewsAsia, 82 percent of toys in Singapore failed safety tests conducted by Insight Laboratories. The organization’s testing involved chemicals, as well as physical testing and labeling, and toys have to pass all three tests to be deemed safe for the public. Toy testing in Singapore, stated Insight Laboratories, follows the same standards set by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).