As if we don’t have enough waste, here comes yet more government intervention guaranteed to add yet more useful stuff to the garbage dump:
If you’re planning a garage sale or organizing a church bazaar, you’d best beware: You could be breaking a new federal law. As part of a campaign called Resale Roundup, the federal government is cracking down on the secondhand sales of dangerous and defective products.
The initiative, which targets toys and other products for children, enforces a new provision that makes it a crime to resell anything that’s been recalled by its manufacturer.
“Those who resell recalled children’s products are not only breaking the law, they are putting children’s lives at risk,” said Inez Tenenbaum, the recently confirmed chairwoman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
The crackdown affects sellers ranging from major thrift-store operators such as Goodwill and the Salvation Army to everyday Americans cleaning out their attics for yard sales, church bazaars or — increasingly — digital hawking on eBay, Craigslist and other Web sites.
Secondhand sellers now must keep abreast of recalls for thousands of products, some of them stretching back more than a decade, to stay within the bounds of the law.
Staffers for the federal agency are fanning out across the country to conduct training seminars on the regulations at dozens of thrift shops.
They claim they won’t be “dispatching bureaucratic storm troopers into private homes”, but,
The agency is working with eBay, Wolfson said, to help the online sales giant install software filters that will flag auction items subject to manufacturers’ recalls.
The commission’s Internet surveillance unit is monitoring Craigslist and other “top auction and reselling sites” for recalled goods. If the agency discovers that a recalled product has been sold online, it will try to find and inform the buyer, Wolfson said.
Read further down the article and, alas, one of my favorite toys from my childhood, the Easy-Bake Oven, is now banned from resale.
Now, from someone who spent her childhood with one scab on each knee and was not the most safety-conscious kid in the block, I can assure you that all my siblings, friends and I survived the hazards of the Easy-Bake Oven. So much so that when my son was little I bought him a boy’s version, the Queasy-Bake Oven, where you could bake little cakes in the shape of dinosaurs and monsters.
He, too, survived unscathed, and had his cake and ate it.
I think I still have the Queasy-Bake Oven. I guess I should have sold it three years ago before the governmental nannies got into it.
By the way, The Husband is one of the organizers of the largest local rummage sale here in Princeton. The organization is deciding whether to drop resale of all toys and items that may be used by children. As he puts it, “otherwise we’ll have to be checking the Congressional Record for everything that comes in the door.”
Related post: My mom is doomed, doomed