Protect Kids from Unsafe Toys during Holidays (Rep. Paul Hodes)

As we approach the holiday season, we want to make sure that we are doing everything possible to protect children in the Granite State and across the country from unsafe toys. Twenty million imported toys manufactured in China and elsewhere were recalled this summer. According to Mattel CEO Bob Eckert, some of these toys contained nearly 200 times the legal limit for lead. Currently, at the Consumer Protection Safety Commission (CPSC), there is only one inspector charged with testing toys to make sure they are safe for our children.  Toys are now being sold in our stores that are untested and are unsafe.  Even more troubling, the chairwoman of the CPSC, Nancy Nord, said recently that she was opposed to increasing the agency’s funding or authority.  This is unacceptable, especially when it involves protecting our children.

I am a proud co-sponsor of H.R. 4040, the Consumer Product Safety Bill.  This legislation would: ban lead from children’s products, require mandatory testing of toys and other products by independent labs, enhance CPSC’s recall authority, improve the commission’s testing and research facilities, and ban unsafe and untested imported children’s products.  The New York Times called this legislation, "a strong bill to overhaul the Consumer Protection Safety Commission" and added that it 'wisely focuses on child safety, in light of the agency’s gross failures in spotting dangerous toys.'  I also voted in support of the Financial Services Appropriations Bill in June, which would increase funding for the CPSC by 6.6 percent and the number of agency employees by 5 percent.  It should not be up to parents alone to screen the safety and content of their children’s toys.  The government should be doing its job to protect our nation’s children.