My Children. My Opinions. My Tales.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Import retort

I may actually regret this post later, but I have to get this rant off of my chest. I have been reading several blogs regarding the China-products-mishap and I can't let go of the comments stating how stupid Americans are for buying China's cheap crap.

First, I am not a stupid American, I find myself to be well-informed and a highly educated individual, wife, and mother. And second, since when did Fisher Price toys fall under the "crap" list?

As I recall, that "crap" for my child was quite expensive. Fisher Price has been a household name for toys for many-many years, both my husband and I played with these toys as kids and I am sure many of you did too. Besides, I will not stop my child from liking Elmo, if she wants an Elmo toy - by golly she can have an Elmo toy (I know I stated my claim in an earlier post about boycotting Fisher Price products with the "Made in China" label, but let's be realistic about boycotting - more on this later.)

I have stumbled upon blog rants stating that if someone would buy this crap for their child, they will just throw it away - because wooden toys are better. Ok, wasn't the Thomas the Train recall a wooden train? Besides being blatantly rude about throwing away a gift, I don't see how purchasing wooden toys are the answer either. Just because they are made with wood doesn't mean they are chemical-free or lead-free for that matter! We all choose to believe what we want to believe.

Now, by all means, I am NOT throwing my support for Mattel or Fisher Price, I believe they have made some pretty dumb business decisions trying to save their company a buck. I do think toy companies need to take accountability for their decisions/actions and learn to be proactive. Gee, if I save a dollar here (add some lead paint) I will lose millions here (from a recall). But the buck doesn't stop here.

Where is the U.S. government in all this? Why are they just sitting back and not pushing for tougher regulations and standards? Again, this brings me back to - if the standards from imports (including any country outside the U.S. not just China) do not meet our standards, American companies should not be allowed to use them. It is that simple. And many parents are asking, "What can we do?" Boycotting is impossible - virtually all but 10 percent of our products are imported?

All you can do is stand up for what you believe. So, here is my solution, write your representatives and congressmen and women, call or write toy companies and find out what their standards are on toy safety including lead paint checks. If we, consumers/parents push hard enough someone will be forced to listen.

Know your Lead facts and be successful in Lead prevention.

I am writing my representatives and congressmen tonight. I will keep you updated on the status. Please let me know your successes too.

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