This will be be the last holiday season you can shop for natural, handmade toys.
2007 was known as the year of the toxic toy, with many unsafe toys coming from China. In an effort to protect kids, Congress passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act in August 2008, which mandates that all toy manufacturers do extensive testing. The problem, is that the only companies that can afford to abide by these new laws are the bigger toy companies, which are almost all ... made in China.
Most smaller companies will go out of business and European and Canadian companies will cease to import to the U.S (even though these countries have extremely strict safety standards on toys). The companies at risk are the ones that the public trusts and, at least according to the Homemade Toy Alliance, "unless the law is modified, handmade toys will no longer be legal in the U.S. Period."
If this law had been applied to the food industry, every farmer's market in the country would be forced to close while Kraft and Dole prospered. When we called Pea Pod Natural Toys in St. Paul, Minnesota, Dan Marshall, father of one and owner of this small shop, said: "One of the biggest reasons my wife and I started Pea Pod's was to provide healthier and safer toys than what was available everywhere else. For ten years, I think we've done a pretty good job of that. This law was simply written without any consideration for small manufacturers, the great majority of whom have exemplary safety records."