When the CPSIA—the toy safety law that requires independent lab tests on toys—was passed, a lot of smaller toy manufacturers complained that it was really a dirty trick by the big toy companies to increase overhead for the small ones. Now comes word that the government has secretly exempted Mattel from the law’s testing requirements—even though Mattel was responsible for 6 lead-tainted toy recalls in 2007.
“Secretly” is kind of an over-the-top word to use, right? Well, the Associated Press reports that when the CPSC voted to exempt Mattel,
CPSC issued no press release about the 3-0 vote in Mattel’s favor, and information on the vote was not posted on the commission’s Web site section pertaining to the CPSIA law.
The agency approved seven Mattel labs as “firewalled third party laboratories” – the first to get that designation under the new law, which permits the “firewall” exception. Mattel pushed hard for the firewalled labs provision when Congress was considering the legislation. The company spent more than $1 million in 2008 on lobbying, according to federal records.
“Third-party safety tests not required for Mattel” [Yahoo] (Thanks to Richard!)