CPSC Commissioner Lauds Toy Industry for Steadfast Commitment to Safety

Nancy MacPherson Receives First Advocate of the Year Award at Toy Fair Seminar

February 25, 2020 | Dana Baiocco, commissioner at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), praised the toy industry’s commitment to safety during her keynote address at The Toy Association’s annual “Toy Safety & Compliance Update” at Toy Fair New York.

Baiocco made her remarks at the three-hour seminar, which provided manufacturers, retailers, inventors, testing labs, and other attendees with news and developments related to toy safety laws and other issues impacting the toy industry in the U.S. and abroad.

“The innovation, creativity, and pure genius [at Toy Fair] was overwhelming to me, and that’s what the public should see,” she said. “I can tell how hard you’re working and that you’re following the rules.”

The Commissioner’s remarks were followed by those of CPSC human factors psychologist Dr. Khalisa Phillips, who provided an overview of the recently updated CPSC Age Determination Guidelines and the upcoming CPSC Human Factors initiatives related to toys and children’s products, including further review of connected toys and a study to provide updated strength data for young children. Dr. Phillips highlighted key changes to CPSC Age Determination Guidelines, including age-grading recommendations for new product categories that did not exist at the time of the previous version of the resource in 2002 and changes to some existing product categories. Members are encouraged to review the updated document in detail to assess the possible impact these changes could have on their products.

During the beginning of the seminar, Toy Association president & CEO Steve Pasierb recognized The LEGO Group’s Nancy MacPherson with The Toy Association’s first-ever Advocate of the Year Award. The award honors individuals who go above and beyond as an industry advocate, including active participation on Toy Association advocacy committees, participation in state and federal fly-ins, attendance at annual strategy meetings, responsiveness to grassroots call-to-action requests, and outreach to his/her local state and federal legislators. MacPherson has also been a key contributor to toy safety as a member of the ASTM F15.22 toy safety subcommittee and chaired the Association’s Safety Standards and Technical Steering Committee.

Rebecca Mond, vice president of federal government affairs at The Toy Association, dove into the topic of fighting fake toys. Maria Sierra, legislative assistant to Senator Bill Cassidy (R-La.), discussed the newly introduced bi-partisan Stop All Nefarious Toys in America (SANTA) Act (cosponsored by Cassidy), which would require online marketplaces to list third-party sellers’ information on all children’s product listings. Meaghan Kent, a partner at Venable, provided an update on the 2.0 version of The Toy Association’s white paper, “The Real Threat of Fake Toys,” which will focus on the unseen criminal connection to this illegal activity, the low hurdle for sellers, the burden of enforcement remaining with the rights holder, and more.

Commissioner Baiocco backed the industry’s stance on tackling counterfeits, stating “Counterfeit and non-compliant products sold through e-commerce that are flying in through the mail into the hands of consumers are the single biggest safety risk to our consumers.”

Jennifer Gibbons, vice president of state government affairs at The Toy Association, and the state government affairs team then gave an overview of priorities and updates for 2020 at the state level. This included the new children's products law in New York and important program details included in chapter amendments currently before the state legislature. The state government affairs team is currently tracking more than 300 chemical bills and nearly 500 bills related to data privacy and security at the state level.

Leigh Moyers, senior manager of federal government affairs at The Toy Association and Sheila Millar, partner at Keller & Heckman, followed with an overview of regulatory updates for connected toys, including proposed changes to Consumer Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and implementation of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

Al Kaufman, the Association’s senior vice president of technical affairs, and Christian Wetterberg, LEGO Group’s senior director and global head of product safety and compliance, closed the session with an update to critical U.S., EU, and global toy safety standards. This included an overview of work within ASTM related to ASTM F1313 (standard for N-nitrosamines in pacifier nipples) and ASTM F963 (toy safety standard), new additions coming to EPA’s high-priority chemicals list, duty rate changes in India (increase) and Brazil (decrease) – as well as a detailed overview of recent and upcoming work within both the CEN (EN-71) and ISO (ISO 8124) toy safety standards.

This seminar was open to all Toy Fair participants and sponsored by SGS North America, Bureau Veritas, Intertek, & IMA. A recording and slides of the presentation will be available on The Toy Association website in the coming days.

The Toy Association will host webinars on the New York children’s products law and CPSC Age Determination Guidelines in the coming months. Registration information will be shared when it’s available.