PointofLaw.com
 Subscribe Subscribe   Find us on Twitter Follow POL on Twitter  
   
 
   

 

 

CPSC attempting to ban "Buckyballs"

| No Comments


Buckyballs, which are powerful magnets, are intended for people ages 14 and up; below that age, and one might be too inclined to put the toy in one's mouth, and having multiple powerful magnets in one's digestive system can create problems if two magnets end up physically close to one another with digestive organs in between the magnets, perforating intestines.

The company only markets its toy to adults, but the CPSC wants to ban their sale entirely, filing an administrative complaint. (If one reads press coverage without care, one doesn't realize that the goods have not yet been banned, though most retailers have been mau-maued into dropping the product.) The CPSC's complaint cites one instance where (a) a parent ignored the warning and purchased the toy for a 10-year-old daughter; (b) the daughter ignored the product warning and put some magnets in her mouth to mimic a tongue piercing; and (c) then swallowed the magnets. Thus, because the warnings get ignored, "the Subject Products are defective." The company, which would be driven out of business, is fighting back. [Abnormal Use; Buckyball press release; Time; AP; USA Today]

I'm surprised that this hasn't picked up more headlines and controversy. One can imagine lots of products that are not marketed to children, yet result in death and injury because of a combination of inattentive parenting and childish misuse—guns being the most obvious example. (The ATF, not the CPSC, regulates guns, but there are those who have called for guns to be put in the CPSC's bailiwick.) If government can withhold products adults want and most use safely because of the foolishness of less than 0.01% of the end users, the resulting nanny-statism can make most of us much worse off. This sort of paternalism separates the Obama administration from its opponents (and not just in product-safety regulation, but in financial products as well), and one wishes the Republicans (and common-sense Democrats) would make more of an issue on this rather than leaving banks and businesses to defend themselves.

Leave a comment

Once submitted, the comment will first be reviewed by our editors and is not guaranteed to be published. Point of Law editors reserve the right to edit, delete, move, or mark as spam any and all comments. They also have the right to block access to any one or group from commenting or from the entire blog. A comment which does not add to the conversation, runs of on an inappropriate tangent, or kills the conversation may be edited, moved, or deleted.

The views and opinions of those providing comments are those of the author of the comment alone, and even if allowed onto the site do not reflect the opinions of Point of Law bloggers or the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research or any employee thereof. Comments submitted to Point of Law are the sole responsibility of their authors, and the author will take full responsibility for the comment, including any asserted liability for defamation or any other cause of action, and neither the Manhattan Institute nor its insurance carriers will assume responsibility for the comment merely because the Institute has provided the forum for its posting.

Related Entries:

 

 


Isaac Gorodetski
Project Manager,
Center for Legal Policy at the
Manhattan Institute
igorodetski@manhattan-institute.org

Katherine Lazarski
Press Officer,
Manhattan Institute
klazarski@manhattan-institute.org

 

Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.