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Provision May Allow Companies To Avoid Independent Testing of Toys

Mattel, Inc, a toymaker, argued to lawmakers that the company should be permitted to conduct its own certification tests, meaning that their own labs will test for product defects in their toys. Independent testing of toys was supposed to be the key in Congress’ attempt to improve the U.S. product-safety system. However, House and Senate provisions have been added to a bill that originally mandated independent testing, now allowing companies to bypass independent testing if they can get federal approval of their in-house testing laboratories. To benefit the most from the provisions are large toy manufacturers, who are more likely to have the sophisticated facilities necessary to conduct tests “equal or greater” in safety protection than independent testing. However, there is an obvious conflict of interest involved in companies testing their own products, which is what opponents point out to Congress. Both the Senate and the House will meet Wednesday to discuss product-safety measures, likely including the amendment at issue here. With the recent rash of lead tainted toys, product safety has come to the forefront, to learn more about the so called “Mattel amendment”, click here.