Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I, Political

Is your shower curtain new?

Go smell it. I'll wait.


Welcome back. Did you smell it? Did you get that sort of dizzy feeling from the pungent aroma? That sort of new plasticy smell all of us remember from childhood.

Ahhh nostalgia.

Smell it again. Congratulations, you just gave yourself cancer.

Or so somebody would have you believe.

Last Summer China got its self in a maelstrom of trouble when it started failing inspections left and right. Too much lead in most items. Complete destroyed Fisher-Price and Mattel. There were also an abundance of phthalates.

Phthalates are a type of plasticizer. It's what makes plastic, plastic. And it is a cheap way to make product. Some independent testing and lobbying of Congress has made those little bastards illegal to make in America as of today. Plus a tougher lead restriction has taken place today.

Here's my two cents. This is a perfect case of one person doing what they think is right and destroying hundreds of thousands of families. Everybody makes stuff in China. Everybody. E.V.E.R.Y.B.O.D.Y. You can not get around it. But when you make a kill date where everything has to change and give the manufacturers of the world a kill date within 6 months, you just have screwed up retail economy.

This is not the time or the place.

Are phthalates bad? Hard to say. If a kid gets their precious snowflake of a mouth on the item and sucks it down for a while, lab testing has disrupted endocrine function. Yet "the Swan study, an earlier study found that "adolescents exposed to significant quantities of DEHP as neonates showed no significant adverse effects on their physical growth and pubertal maturity." But the hardline thinking of the bill just effectively put every mom and pop company out of business today.

Testing for phthalates is expensive, very expensive. When the law was first passed there was an exemption for selling the offending products. You could still sell it as long as the item was made before 2/10/2009, after today your stuff must pass.

Fair enough, so every company's business model was changing the way to make our stuff pass the new regulations. But we still can sell our overstock inventory and recoup our losses

Then on 2/6/2009 the New York District court fought and won a suit to change the regs to state that you cannot sell the product at all.

Every store and manufactuerer now has a warehouse they must try to liquidate to Mexico, except part of the regs say you can't export.

Everybody loses because guess what? The new materials that pass the regs are $2 to $5 bucks more expensive and we pass those costs onto you the consumer.

Is this really the time for the government to force people out of business?

This bill was passed by Bush in August of last year.

Now is not the time for this. This is a silly law that is too strigent. You can't change the way the world operates in six months, you just can't.

So, I'll be raising a glass tonight for all those mom and pop stores that dared to take on Wal-Mart and Target and were crushed by Bush and his leadership

Goodnight you bastards

PS. I write this article from the inside, I work for a major American producer that has factories in China


Angela said...

Meh, all this bad-for-you hype...I mean, look how we grew up, and we'll all still ticking. People get a bit too freaked about some of these safety concerns.

Sure, some are valid...we don't want to be eating asbestos with our Shreddies or anything, but protectionism goes a bit too far sometimes, IMO and the little guy's the one who gets screwed.

Lady Glamis said...

I agree with Angela. It's the little guys that get the brunt of the screw over.

This day and age seems so concerned about safety things, and less about the economy. What good will it all do if we're losing everything left and right? Our jobs, our family members because of lack of good health care, our sanity? Argh! It just ticks me off.

This was a great, informative post. Thanks!

BA Boucher said...

I work in juvenile products and everyday we get word of companies folding.

Evenflo won't be here this time next year.

That's crazy to me