I have a beautiful handcarved rattle that is a treasured memento from the days of diapers and midnight feedings. I have quilts lovingly pieced by family and friends before the birth of my first child.  These handmade gifts are valued far above the most expensive of store- bought ones. However, moms and their children may soon be denied the pleasure of owning quality, handcrafted toys when the Consumer Protection Safety Improvement Act goes into law in February. In an overkill effort to respond to the problems with some mass-produced items coming from other countries, a law was drafted requiring that all toys designed for children under the age of 12 be subjected to expensive third party testing and certification.

While the intent, to prevent toys containing lead and phthalates from reaching small children, is good, the effect is to put all small toy-making business owners out of business.  These people cannot afford the expense of third party testing and still sell a product others could afford to buy.The last thing our economy needs right now is a law that will force more hard -working folks out of a job. This type of law is well-suited for large manufacturers, but there needs to be an exception for small, privately-owned businesses.  How many Etsy stores, craft fair booths, and handmade toy websites will shut down if this law goes into effect as written?

If you value the choice of buying handcrafted toys, you can make your voice heard.  Just click on the cute picture of the handmade bear for a list of people to contact and groups involved in this fight. Or visit The Handmade Toy Alliance here.

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