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Last spring, the Republican legislature shunted aside Margaret Donnelly’s eminently practical bill to protect Missouri’s children from unsafe toys.

Many consumers aren’t aware that product recalls – even when issued by the federal Consumer Safety Product Commission (CSPC) – are voluntary.  Stores are not legally required to remove the hazardous items from their shelves.  Moreover, the CSPC is sorely under funded and does not have the capacity to adequately share all recall information with consumers.  And that leaves families at risk. (…..)

Modeled after Illinois’ law, the Missouri Children’s Product Safety Act would prohibit the sale of all unsafe children’s products in Missouri.  It outlines the steps companies must take when a product has been recalled. The act would empower the Attorney General to investigate and prosecute violations.

As it turns out, the problem of dangerous toys is much more widespread than you might imagine:

One in three toys tested by a Michigan nonprofit group contained medium or high levels of toxic chemicals, according to a report released Wednesday. And U.S.-made children’s toys didn’t necessarily contain fewer toxins than their imported counterparts.

But actually, despite having George Bush at the helm of the country, the situation has been improving and the Feds are even about to take further steps:

However, Gearhart said about half as many of the toys tested this year contained lead, compared with last year. Still, toys containing certain plasticizers – which will be banned beginning in February – remain on store shelves. (….)

[P]arents will get some relief when stricter regulations and new government oversight go into effect next year.

Hmm. Competent governance under Dubya? It has been known to happen.