CHILDREN VERSUS PROFITS?
Need I even pose the question under our economic system? The tainted milk scandal in China answered the question with regard to the “socialist” market economy, as did the peanut butter scandal here in the U.S.A. But these scandals were sub rosa, as it were. Capitalist purists can claim these scandals were the result of greedy people going behind the backs of society to engage in their evil deeds. So here is a better example of how children rate under capitalism. Shamelessly out in public the capitalists openly petition the U.S. Congress to let them poison children with toxic substances in order to make bigger profits.
I am referring to the information in a Wall Street Journal article of 2-10-2009: “Retailers Urge Rollback of Children’s Safety Law.” The law in question limits the amount of phthalates [toxic chemicals] and lead content in children’s toys. Phthalates cause developmental disorders in small children and infants. The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act mandates new standards for these substances in children toys-- not only for new toys, but ones still in inventory.
The Retail Industry Leaders Association knows it can’t sell future toys that don’t meet the new standards, but the toxic play things for the kiddies that they already have on hand they want to sell off. Big companies such as Wal-Mart, Costco, Target, Sears, J. C. Penny and Best Buy are all members of the RILA. They must have many bins of toxic toys they want to sell.
With reference to these banned toxins, Stephanie Leste, a vice president at RILA, is quoted as saying, “There’s a lot of it out there; it’s on the store shelves, in the warehouses and distribution centers.”
Well, it's up to Congress to decide. Save big bucks for the retailers [“hundreds of millions of dollars”] and expose millions of the nation's children to lead poisoning and developmental disorders, or leave the retailers stuck with their toxic products. At least this time they asked.