The following is reposted from (LiveJournal), who found it at (also LiveJournal); if this is something that you can support (and I certainly hope you can), please visit the Handmade Toy Alliance website (link below) and contact your Congress-critters, or their equivalent in other jurisdictions.
In a nutshell, because of all the crap coming out of China and Hong Kong the Feds are putting in place the CPSIA1. What this means is every toy sold in the US whether its from a manufacturer in another country or handmade in Europe, Canada or the US has to be put through $4000 testing to show its safe or not allowed to be sold. The Handmade Toy Alliance is mostly woodworkers, but this affects all of us! Whether you make dolls, soft toys, games, anything that could be considered a toy. This also affects our economy and the right of people to purchase unique quality toys just because they came out of someones home studio/workshop instead of a factory paying crappy wages to overworked people in other countries. In effect, the hope is to get something passed that saves the cottage industry artisans like my Mom, me, and many of our friends from having to get the items tested before selling them, i.e. an addendum stating you have to show materials used, and you aren’t selling more than so many of one item per year. I’ve signed the petition, and written my letters. I encourage all of my friends to take 10 minutes, if that, to please do the same. Whether you’re a rennie, scadian, or just a lover of beautiful unique gifts for kids, young or old, please know this affects us all and affects our economy. For some people like my mom her personal income comes from her cottage industry, and we sell the game boards and other small gift items this way. We’ve actually been working on a line of baby toys and this could seriously hurt us.
The above link will take you to their page and give you an overview of their organization. You don’t have to donate if you sign the petition just close the screen. They have a template letter you can fill in to send to your representative also. It’s only two stamps (one to congress, one to senate), hey while addressing your holiday cards you could always add these to the list of stamps needed.
cheekyandswank also has information posted about this; that link is to their tagged posts on the subject.
1. Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, passed in Congress 14 Aug 2008