Bush administration may be complicit in lead-painted-toy debacle

While China has endured a lot of criticism from the lead-painted-toy debacle, the Bush administration is not off the hook. Consumer advocates say the anti-regulation administration has hindered attempts to crack down on inspection of imported Chinese playthings; in addition, critics accuse the feds of encouraging the Consumer Product Safety Commission to be less oriented to consumer safety and more focused on pleasing manufacturers. “We’ve been complaining about this issue, warning it is going to happen, and it is disappointing that it has happened,” says Tom Neltner of the Sierra Club, which sued the U.S. EPA in December after the agency chose not to require safety studies for companies using lead in children’s products. China is, of course, far from guilt-free: It’s currently fighting a CPSC proposal that would reduce allowable lead levels in children’s jewelry.

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