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HeathyToys.org

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The massive and numerous recalls of Chinese-made toys because of lead-based paint and other toxins naturally have parents worried, especially this time of year. There was another recall announced just yesterday, this time of toddler potty training seats tainted with lead paint. This latest recall makes 99 recalls for 2007 totaling more than 16 million products, according to OMB Watch. The so-called federal watchdog, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), is underfunded and largely toothless. Maybe this is part of the problem?

Then there is the issue of the former and acting chiefs of the CPSC, and their close relationship with industries they were responsible for regulating. Last month, The Washington Post reported that the agency's acting chairman, Nancy Nord, and the previous chairman, Hal Stratton, had "taken dozens of trips at the expense of the toy, appliance and children's furniture industries and others they regulate." In May, Bush's nominee to head the CPSC, Michael Baroody, was forced to withdraw his nomination when it became clear that he would not win confirmation in the Senate Commerce Committee because he was a senior lobbyist with the National Association of Manufacturers.

In the face of the feds' dereliction of its duty, activist groups are jumping into the breach.

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