Do you care? Do we care that the Chinese government, our private corporations, and our government are knowingly poisoning our children? Obviously not. After all, George Bush allowed corporations to increase the amount of known toxins they can dump into our waters, the same waters that our kids drink. So, why should it surprise us that lead-based toys and jewelry are flooding our market?
One of the wide-effects of the Bush Administration is that you always wonder which special interest sock-puppet has been placed in charge of the regulatory agency responsible for keeping us safe, but which isn't.
Well, Nancy Nord is the Acting Head of the CPSC because the head of the CPSC resigned rather abruptly summer a year ago and Bush has done nothing to replace him (the CPSC has a three person directorate; with the party of the President essentially controlling the majority) since March, when he tried to appoint the former head of The National Association of Manufacturers (you know, people who might not like the CPSC) in his place. And why did the last guy resign, you ask? Oh, you know... to go work for a law firm that advises clients on how to... you know, avoid having to deal with the CPSC.
During testimony Nord admits, disturbingly, that despite harsh criticisms of Chinese toy manufacturers and calls for crackdowns in 2004, a "significant amount" of children's jewelry the agency tested still contains lead, amending that, shortly thereafter, to "almost all of it". She also describes the testing facility as a 1950's-era missile testing site in Gaithersburg, Maryland, some of the buildings of which do not even meet code. Nord goes on to report how their lone product tester, a man named Bob, is overwhelmed (imagine that!) and can't reasonably be expected to test the countless thousands of toys and other products coming into the country every day.
This is a still shot of the toy testing facility, the place where Bob ("Our small parts guy") decides if toys--the ones he gets to that day, anyway--are safe enough for Americas consumers and children. Yes, this is really the toy lab, as presented to the Senate Wednesday:
Honestly, I don't know whether to laugh or cry.
So, there we go, once again, corporations over the common good and profits over people.