Monday, December 29, 2008

Consumer Product Safety Commission Act

The law, known as HR4040:
As it stands now each component must be tested to comply.

Can I test at home? The testing labs must be accredited by the CPSC. You can find a list at:

What can you do?
Read this letter, contact your lawmakers and let your voice be heard.
Dear Friend,

I want to bring to your attention an urgent legal matter affecting
anyone making, distributing or selling children's products of any kind. On
September 12, 2008, the General Counsel of the Consumer Product Safety
Commission (CPSC) issued an opinion stating that the new safety
standards of the
Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) applies
retroactively to
inventory (Falvey Opinion). This opinion poses a serious threat because it
means that we will all be liable for any potential violation of law from
products already on our shelves, although these products are safe and were
purchased or produced legally and in compliance with the law. The
disastrous financial exposure we all face was highlighted in the Wall Street
Journal in an article published on November 18, 2008 (see attached). Despite
calls for its reconsideration, the Falvey Opinion was recently
reaffirmed by the
CPSC General Counsel.

We have posted the many documents relating to this issue on our
website. Please go to the special section of our website,,
<,> to read the Falvey
Opinion and see comment letters and articles which explain the impact on
you and
the business community. In particular, I urge you to watch three videos
from a
recent CPSC panel discussion posted on
<> (search for CPSIA
or go to our website for links) which explain the many unintended and
consequences of this law.


The CPSIA was enacted in the summer of 2008 in reaction to a wave of
toy recalls in 2007, largely due to lead-in-paint (already illegal at
the time).
The anger of Congress, inflamed by media like the Chicago Tribune and
activists, turned a reasonable concern over safety procedures into a fear of
everything. The CPSIA was crafted to eliminate any conceivable
possibility of
danger, regardless of science, risk, burden or consequence. It affects a
breathtaking array of products intended for children, including footwear,
carpets, clothing, bedding, luggage, lamps, toys, books, consumer
school supplies, office supplies, jewelry, housewares, sports equipment,
and so
on. Although well-intentioned, implementation of the CPSIA is throwing
wet blanket over the weakening economy and will become a big part of your
economic reality soon. The new law exposes your business and your supply
to excessive costs and recordkeeping expenses unrelated to safety risks and
enforces its new rules with minimum penalties of $100,000 per violation
and the
threat of felony convictions. These burdens bear no rational relationship to
improvements in children's product safety.

Defenders of the CPSIA claim that the need for new safety standards
is so urgent that they must be imposed with retroactive effect. Don't be
by activists in the newspaper and on TV: opposing the tight rules of the
does not create a choice between safety and jobs. The safety of children
the priority of the children's products industry, including our own school
supply and educational toy industries. The absence of an appropriate
period for existing inventory under the Falvey Opinion is nonetheless
creating a
significant job loss scenario in the name of safety.


The legal issues under this law, especially the General Counsel's
retroactivity opinion, threaten your business' ability to make a profit.
that serious. The time to act is NOW. As the Wall Street Journal article
clear, the voice of commerce has not been heard by Congress. People are
to say anything in opposition to a law purporting to protect children.
We must
face the reality, however, of a sick economy and the unbearable burdens
the CPSIA. Ignoring this law is not a choice for any of us - like it or not,
the CPSIA is a game changer.

We are threatened as a community, and we must speak out as a
community to beat back this threat. Here's what you can do:

First, write the CPSC, House and Senate staffers, and your own
Congressmen and Senators to express your views of this law. We have attached
three sample letters plus email address and contact information for U.S.
government officials. Feel free to put your concerns in your own words,
or use
the attached sample letters. To create an email, simply add your name and
company information at the bottom of the letter, and cut and paste into
an email
using the contacts in the attached document. Please send emails right
away and
make calls expressing your view on the seriousness of this issue.

Second, send copies of those letters and emails to your local
newspapers, TV stations, and radio stations. It is my hope that the Wall
Journal article will be the first of many articles exposing the devastating
unintended consequences of the CPSIA.

Third, ask your business partners, friends, families and neighbors
to get involved. Washington can't and won't act unless it hears the
voices of
constituents louder than the voices of the activists which have thus far
controlled this process.

The business community needs to raise its voice. Your Congressman
and Senators will be very concerned about jobs and the state of the
economy in
your area. Ask them to get involved to insure that local businesses are not
brought to their knees by overreaching government regulations.

Some of you make or sell children's products that fall outside
Learning Resources' educational toy and educational materials sectors.
feel free to forward this email or adapt it to notify other children's
companies. I have no pride of authorship - please use this letter as you see
fit. We need to draw attention to these issues urgently and generate a loud
community response.

If we act as one united community, we can exert enough political
pressure to reverse the Falvey Opinion and possibly even build a
consensus for
an appropriate review of the CPSIA itself.

Thank you for your immediate help on this important matter.

Best regards,

Richard Woldenberg
Learning Resources, Inc.

Friday, December 12, 2008

mr.Food's no bake Holly Crackles

I'm going to try these with the kids, Easy, fast simple, festive:

Holly Crackles

Wednesday, December 10, 2008 | 11:39 AM

Want to be a smart cookie this holiday season?

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 30 large marshmallows (1 10-ounce bag contains 38 to 40)
  • 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons green food color
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 cups cornflakes cereal
  • Red-hot cinnamon candies, for decorating
  1. In a medium saucepan, melt butter and marshmallows over medium-low heat, stirring constantly.
  2. When melted, remove from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon food color and the vanilla. Add more food color, if desired. Stir in cornflakes.
  3. Drop mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time, onto waxed paper. Decorate with candies. Let stand 30 minutes, or until cool.