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January 31, 2009 | Alana Semuels
Federal regulators on Friday postponed some testing requirements that would have forced many companies to pay ten of thousands of dollars to check children's products for lead content, giving manufacturers and retailers a one-year reprieve. The Consumer Product Safety Commission deferred the deadline, originally Feb. 10, by which manufacturers and importers of children's goods needed to test every item to ensure it didn't contain more than 600 parts per million of lead.
January 7, 2009 | Alana Semuels
The Consumer Product Safety Commission has given preliminary approval to changes in new lead-testing rules after complaints that the measures could have forced thrift stores and sellers of handmade toys to dispose of merchandise or even go out of business. If formally adopted, the changes approved on a first vote Tuesday would grant exemptions to last year's Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, which seeks to ensure that products for children do not contain dangerous amounts of lead.
December 23, 2008 | Alana Semuels
There's no sign of an economic slowdown at Larry Mestyanek's toy factory in Compton. Whirring machines cut letters from the alphabet out of red, blue and yellow slabs of wood, making long rows of the letter E. Across the room, men with air filter masks sand toddler's chairs that are lined up in rows as if expecting a convention of miniature leaders. The machines are so loud it's hard to hear the rows of tiny wooden music boxes playing a disjointed lullaby.
November 20, 2008 | John M. Glionna, Glionna is a Times staff writer.
Amid recurring Chinese product safety scares, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday opened an inspection office in Beijing that officials said would help China export safer products to America and the world. The new FDA field office, one of three to be opened in China, is the first outside the U.S. and comes during a nadir in U.S. consumer confidence in Chinese-made products after reports of counterfeit drugs, melamine-laced milk and toys covered in potentially lethal lead paint.
September 1, 2008 | Don Lee, Times Staff Writer
China's product quality and food safety agency came under pressure last year after Chinese businesses exported tainted pet food and lead-laden toys. Now it is under fire from domestic companies. In the last month, eight Chinese firms have filed lawsuits against the agency, accusing it of stifling competition by colluding with a business in which it had a financial stake. The lawsuits could test China's new anti-monopoly law, which took effect Aug. 1. Among its provisions, the law prohibits abuse of government administrative powers that restrain competition, thus opening up for legal challenges the commercial activities of government bodies and officials.
March 16, 2008 | From Times Wire Services
About 67,000 child car seats manufactured by Combi USA Inc. are being recalled because federal tests showed that they might separate from their bases in front-end collisions, the company said. Combi USA said it would offer free retrofit kits to consumers who contacted the company. "In the meantime, Combi recommends that consumers use the Combi Centre and Shuttle without the base until the retrofit kit is installed," the recall notice said. The recall involves Centre, Centre ARB and Shuttle seats (model Nos. 8065, 8074, 8086, 8087 and 8520)
March 7, 2008 | Noam N. Levey, Times Staff Writer
Moving to reverse decades of limited federal oversight, the Senate voted Thursday to make sweeping changes to the government's system of regulating toys, appliances and thousands of other household products. The 79-13 vote could lead to a major expansion of the Consumer Product Safety Commission and stiffer penalties for companies that manufacture or distribute hazardous products.
March 4, 2008 | Noam N. Levey, Times Staff Writer
After a year of toy recalls that shook public confidence in product safety, Senate Democrats and influential industry groups are facing off over how the government regulates everything from baby cribs to all-terrain vehicles. Backed by consumer advocates, lawmakers are pushing to give the public broad access to information about potentially dangerous products and to increase penalties for companies that make or sell harmful products.
March 2, 2008 | From Times Wire Services
The Food and Drug Administration is launching an effort meant to strengthen its oversight of prescription drugs after they win approval, an agency official said. The plan, called "Safety First," includes creation of a new database of possible side effects from medicines. It also would establish clear schedules for following up on concerns about them. The action is the FDA's latest move to address allegations that the agency has been slow to respond to potential side effects that emerge after a medicine reaches the market.
February 19, 2008 | Heather Burke, Bloomberg News
The U.S. Toy Industry Assn., whose members include Mattel Inc. and Hasbro Inc., said Monday that its board unanimously approved a plan for a new testing system after the recall of tens of millions of Chinese-made toys last year. The proposal includes more-stringent procedures for analyzing safety during the design and manufacturing of toys, as well as the testing of finished products, said Joan Lawrence, a vice president of the group.
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