The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is trying a new tactic in its efforts to improve toy safety and get toy manufacturers to adhere to its current standards for toy manufacturing. Rather than relying solely on the threat of recalls, the agency has opened up a U.S. office in Beijing to improve its coordination with Chinese manufacturers.
According to Inez M. Tenenbaum, chairman of the CPSC, the agency's China office will be “making sure manufacturers and importers know about our standards so that we don’t have to constantly rely on recalls.”
Last year alone, the CPSC ordered the recalls of 428 products worldwide. More than half of those recalls involved products made in China. According to the CPSC, more than 90 percent of toys sold on store shelves in the U.S. are imported from China and Hong Kong.
Will a Beijing-based CPSC office help improve the safety of the toys coming out of China? The aim of the Beijing U.S. CPSC is to help reduce the recall of products such as toys, clothing and electronics that may fail to meet standards. I'm also hoping that this office will help to turn unsafe products around before they even make their way to store shelves. It's too soon to tell, but I'm cautiously optimistic about this office's effect on toy safety in the U.S. How about you?