Wednesday, January 14, 2009

More confusion from the CPSIA

Cheryl Falvey, general counsel to the CPSC, responded to a letter from Allan Adler concerning books and the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008. Falvey's response appeared to exempt "ordinary books" from the law, BUT, wait, she goes on to contradict herself in the course of her "clarification."

Quoting Holly Jahangiri, from her blog Do I Have to Spell It Out:

I'm confused - and a little irked. Contrary to popular belief, using clear and unambiguous language in legal writing - as opposed to obfuscatory "legalese" and weasel words - is a good thing. What we have in the latest Falvey memorandum is weasel words. The CPSC could point to this one document and say accurately that "ordinary books for readers of all ages" are exempt from the requirements of the CPSIA, but that those same books, if "intended primarily for children" are not. The same books. Regardless of who's actually reading them. And who determines intent?

Holly ends her blog post with the following paragraph:

The only thing clear at this point is that many individuals and small businesses that are centered around making quality products for children are playing it safe: holding deep-discount "CPSIA sales," laying off employees, destroying their inventories of children's merchandise, closing their doors, and in some cases, declaring bankruptcy. The damage has already begun, and February 10 - National Bankruptcy Day - is less than a month away. How is it that this law is only now making headlines, at the eleventh hour? This is, indeed, cultural genocide - and not just against Native Americans. With each passing hour and day, any hope of a clear, unambiguous stay of execution from the CPSC fades away.

Everyone needs to read Holly's complete blog post. I did, and I agree with her 100%.

Do I Have to Spell It Out

If this law isn't repealed or halted in some way, immediately, we'll more than likely have to say, "Goodbye, 4RV Publishing. We'll miss you."

NOTE: More "Weasel Words"?

Another memorandum from Cheryl A. Falvey, General Counsel CPSC, "clarifies" the effect of the CPSIA on inventory.

After reading it several times, I'm still confused.



Morgan Mandel said...

Isn't the economy bad enough without lawmakers shooting us and themselves in the foot?

Morgan Mandel

Vivian Zabel said...

Please don't miss the additional note I just added to my blog post.

More "weasel words" from the same person, but this time dealing with the effect of the law on inventory.


Stephen Macquignon said...

Is B&N following in Amazons foot steps about the Jan15th deadline?

Vivian Zabel said...

All vendors will take all books not tested by a certified lab out of inventory or face huge fines and perhaps jail time.

kathy stemke said...

I just wrote letters to the four congressman.

I believe there will have to be a clarification on this law. I hope that amazon and others will reconsider at that time. Fingers crossed, Kathy

Vivian Zabel said...

The only hope for this law is for it to be repealed and a new, better, well-crafted law written.

Rena said...

I've been writing letters too, Vivian. I hope you don't have to close your business. I know how much it means to you and your future.

I will be really sad to never see my books go to print, as well.

Vivian Zabel said...

Rena, I'm still fighting and searching and trying to find a way out of this mess.

Hey, maybe the government will bail us out? *laughs hysterically*

Rena said...

I'm laughing with you, Vivian, and crying at the same time. I know you're working hard. I appreciate that. I've got it posted on The Wiggles message board too, which gets a lot of views. I hope people will do what they can to get their voices heard.

Rena said...

You know, it's a sad, sad day in America when people who create Hustler magazine and Girls Gone Wild are even thinking of asking the US government for a $5 million dollar bailout -- and yet, they do this to our children and our small businesses. :(

Helen Ginger said...

Totally agree with you, Rena. I could not believe when I heard on the national news that the porn industry was thinking of asking for a bailout. That made the news, but this CPSIA doesn't seem to be getting much air time.

Thank you Vivian for keeping it in the spotlight.