What else can I say? The CPSC's investigative function has been replaced by the Chicago Tribune, and now the agency's safety standard-setting responsibilities are apparently being taken over by freakin' big box retailers.
The Chicago Tribune reports that Toys R Us and its subsidiary Babies R Us have announced that cribmakers who wish to sell their products in TRU/BRU's 850 US stores will have to meet stricter British and Canadian safety tests. Specifically, they'll have to follow standards of crib spindle strength, wood density, and spindle construction.
The declaration follows a recall this summer of 320,000 Jardine cribs after 42 reports of spindle breakage and injuries.
"I really applaud you," [CPSC engineer Patricia] Hackett told Toys "R" Us executives Wednesday. But she said she doubted that the broader group of manufacturers that set voluntary standards for cribs would adopt design requirements. For years, manufacturers have resisted such design restrictions, pushing instead for testing requirements that allow them to be creative with their designs.Wow, who'da thought? A "broader group of manufacturers" opposes newer, stricter safety standards? The Tribune doesn't name the group in the article, probably a bit too insider baseball, but it's ASTM, the industrial standards organization that runs the JPMA's voluntary standards regime.
Toys 'R' Us gets tough with cribmakers [chicagotribune.com]
Check out the Tribune's whole collection of safety-related stories and videos [chicagotribune.com/safetytips]