In case you missed it, the consequences of Congress obsessing over precaution were spelled out in a deft opinion piece by Anne Northup in the Wall Street Journal over the holidays. “Saving” kids from illusory risks — just how are trace amounts of lead in a bicycle going to poison anyone? — may make for cheap political gains, the appearance of bipartisan probity, but it has, in the case of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, made for costly laws. The burden of complying with testing for lead present in toys and other goods that might be used by children is so financially onerous, it is not only hurting boutique toymakers, but charities and thrift stores.
So extreme are the regulations that many toys which pass the stringent regulations imposed by precautionary thinking in the European Union cannot be imported here.