Brace Yourself: Babywearing at Risk!

I am no great fan of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Driven by industry lobbyists, they seem to have a vendetta against small businesses specializing in handmade or small batch made items rather than unsafe mass-produced products, which is much more of a danger to the America consumer– just look at Fisher Price’s recent 100 toy recall. How do you screw up 100 different toys and pieces of baby equipment?!?! But I digress.

Here is the latest bit of riculousness coming form the CPSC. It has been circulating on Facebook and is originally from The Babywearer Forums.

Dear Babywearing Enthusiast:
It is time to BRACE YOURSELF!
A recall of a major baby carrier is being forced through this week. We want you to understand how this has been handled and to appreciate the immediacy of the problem!

* Company was informed by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) that, after several years, a closed investigation of their product was being reopened.

* Company was told by the CPSC to issue a recall of every product back more than ten years, and to discontinue sales, while admitting that there is no product flaw.

* Company stopped all sales, with the intention of clearing up the matter and reopening shortly.

* Company asked for the Health and Science report that the CPSC later claimed to have, indicating the need for a recall.

* CPSC has NEVER complied; inside word is that there is NOT a Health and Science report.

* Company was sent two draft press releases and asked to voluntarily recall their product or the CPSC would issue a unilateral recall (a forced recall) which included inflammatory language as well as a threat to pursue action against entire class of baby sling products.

* Company held fast, knowing that the product is safe and a benefit to babies and stated they would be willing to work with the CPSC on a public education campaign about sling safety.

* CPSC asked for Company’s financials.

* Company complied.

* CPSC said to company “You are no longer in business, we don’t need your cooperation in order to recall! Prepare to DESTROY all product next week!” Next week is International Babywearing week!

PLEASE NOTE: *THIS IS AFTER THE CPSC FORCED COMPANY TO STOP SELLING!

The CPSC has overstepped their bounds, and are bullying small, family businesses who make safe products!

This is only the beginning, according to the CPSC’s own words they want to eradicate the whole class of product!

A line has been drawn in the sand! Will you help fight the good fight with us? If you care that these products are available to you, to babies, to families across our country, ACT NOW!

If you are represented by any one of these legislators, please call and write to them NOW, before this recall happens. We are asking just a few simple things:
1. Stop all recall actions against baby sling companies until

2. We can finalize the ASTM voluntary sling standards (scheduled for November) and

3. Force the CPSC to follow their own internal procedures, stop using bullying tactics, and use sound science.

SENATE:

Mark Pryor – Chairman, AR (202) 224-2353

Byron L. Dorgan, ND (202) 224-2551

Barbara Boxer, CA (202) 224-3553

Bill Nelson, FL (202) 224-5274

Claire McCaskill, MO (202) 224-6154

Amy Klobuchar, MN (202) 224-3244

Tom Udall, NM (202) 224-5941

Roger Wicker – Ranking Member, MS (202) 224-6253

Olympia J. Snowe, ME (202) 224-5344

Jim DeMint, SC (202) 224-6121

John Thune, SD (202) 224-2321

Johnny Isakson, GA (202) 224-3643

David Vitter, LA (202) 224-4623

HOUSE:

Bobby L. Rush, IL, Chairman 202-225-4372; 773-224-6500

Jan Schakowsky, IL, Vice Chair 202-225-2111; 773-506-7100

Ed Whitfield, KY, Ranking Member 202-225-3115; 270-885-8079

John P. Sarbanes, MD 202-225-4016; 410-832-8890

George Radanovich, CA 202-225-4540; 559-449-2490

Betty Sutton, OH 202-225-2266; 330-865-8450

Cliff Stearns, FL 202-225-5744; 352-351-8777

Frank Pallone, Jr., NJ 202-225-4671; 732-571-1140

Joseph R. Pitts, PA 202-225-2411; 717-303-0667

Bart Gordon, TN 202-225-4231; 615-896-1986

Mary Bono Mack, CA 202-225-5330; 760-320-1076

Bart Stupak, MI 202-225-4735; 231-348-0657

Lee Terry, NE 202-225-4155; 402-397-9944

Gene Green, TX 202-225-1688; 281-999-5879

Sue Wilkins Myrick, NC 202-225-1976; 704-362-1060

Charles A. Gonzalez, TX 202-225-3236; 210-472-6195

Tim Murphy, PA 202-225-2301; 412-344-5583

Anthony D. Weiner, NY 202-225-6616; 718-520-9001

Phil Gingrey, GA 202-225-2931; 770-429-1776 J

im Matheson, UT 202-225-3011; 801-486-1236

Steve Scalise, LA 202-225-3015; 504-837-1259

G. K. Butterfield, NC 202-225-3101; 252-237-9816

Robert E. Latta, OH 202-225-6405; 419-668-0206

John Barrow, GA 202-225-2823; 912-354-7282

Joe Barton, TX 202-225-2002; 817-543-1000

Here is a sample letter. Please feel free to edit it and make it more personal to your situation. For example, if you are a business owner in the industry, let them know how a recall will affect you. If you are an educator, let them know how you help. Give them a personal story. Whatever it takes!

Dear _______,

I am writing as a concerned parent about the broad and overzealous scope of many of the recent CPSC recalls. In particular, I’ve learned that the CPSC is threatening a unilateral recall action against a reputable brand of baby sling.

I am appealing to you, as a member of the The Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Insurance. Today, I am asking that: 1) all baby sling recall actions be stopped immediately; 2) the ASTM sling carrier standard should be voted on so that sling carriers may be tested for this safety standard; 3) the CPSC be forced to follow their own internal procedures of due course, rather than using scare tactics and bullying to intimidate reputable, responsible companies.

I am aware that this particular product was in use at the time of death of an infant in one case in 2005. This incident was fully investigated by the CPSC and the company was told, in 2007, that the product was not at fault. In early 2010, this case was reopened despite no new evidence. The company was bullied into closure by the CPSC. No testing or report showing evidence of a defect has been made available to the company. The CPSC is now using the fact that the company is closed to issue the unilateral recall, despite lacking the science and statistics that would be the norm for this agency. At this time, there are indications of many more baby carrier recalls to come, including CPSC language that indicates that they are considering action against this “entire class of product”.

Recalling this particular product, and potentially this “entire class of product”, will have a decidedly negative impact on parents all over the United States. Babywearing is a practice that has proven health benefits for both babies and their caregivers, and is an essential part of parenting for millions of people across the country and worldwide. The CPSC is attempting to drastically limit a personal parenting choice through this unnecessary recall. Please consider the Baby Carrier Industry Alliance’s Position Paper (http://babycarrierindustryalliance.m…hite_paper.pdf/) as scientific evidence of both the necessity and the safety of baby carriers.

There is a strong network of babywearing safety advocates and volunteer groups throughout the nation whose mission is to teach caregivers how to use their baby carriers safely and effectively. Baby carriers are absolutely safe; perhaps even safer than many other baby care devices such as swings and car seats. Additionally, ASTM International is set to vote on a voluntary standard for sling carriers this very week. This standard is the result of 3 years of hard work by consumer advocates, manufacturers, and members of the CPSC’s own staff.

The recent light shown on the tactics taken by the CPSC is shocking. Bullying small family-owned business to get the outcome they desire should not be how the US Government does business. I ask you to stop this recall, look into the actions of the CPSC, and consider allowing the voluntary standards process to be completed. I hope we can count on you.

Thank you for your consideration.

1 Comment


  1. //

    Oh, for the love of Pete!! Next thing you know they’re going to force JoAnn fabrics to stop selling certain types of fabric over certain lengths to prevent us from making our own slings. ReeDICulous!!

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