Sunday, March 29, 2009

Assemblymember Mark Weprin Announces New York’s Toy Recall Law in Effect...

Assemblymember Mark S. Weprin (D-Little Neck) announced that the Children’s Product Safety and Recall Effectiveness Act of 2008 took effect this month. Over the past couple of years, millions of toys have been voluntarily recalled because of manufacturing defects. In one instance Mattel recalled over 18 million toys worldwide, including more than 9 million products in the U.S. The new law will help curb the sale of recalled toys and other children’s products. It also requires retailers to post recall notices.

“The toys we buy for our children are supposed to be fun and educational, and we shouldn’t have to worry that toys could harm our children,” said Assemblymember Weprin. “It is unacceptable that in recent years so many toys have had to be recalled because of safety issues. This law will help ensure that dangerous toys are kept off shelves and out of the hands of children.”

A recent state study proves that we need more than voluntary compliance. In June 2007, the state’s Consumer Protection Board (CPB), along with other state agencies, surveyed thousands of businesses on the effectiveness of recall notifications. Many followed the safety commission’s directives, but there were also many who didn’t receive recall notices or if they did, posted recall signs out of sight for most consumers. In addition, many people receive gifts or buy used toys at secondhand shops, where it is difficult to monitor product safety.

This legislation requires manufacturers to provide better safety and recall information for consumers by establishing a labeling and notification system that helps consumers know if the crib or toy they bought is defective, so they can return or discard the product. It also imposes civil penalties for manufacturers or retailers who don’t follow recall directives, which should result in more businesses complying.