Americans React to Government’s Ban on Crib Sales

Rob Bluey /

Tuesday’s deadline for retailers to dispose of any unsold cribs has come and gone, but won’t soon be forgotten. Americans are speaking out about the unintended consequences of the government’s regulatory efforts.

Commissioner Anne Northup of the Consumer Product Safety Commission posted reactions on her blog. Northup and Nancy Nord, a fellow Republican commissioner, sought to extend Tuesday’s deadline when they learned more than 100,000 cribs would need to be trashed. None of the cribs have been deemed unsafe or a hazard to children.

Despite their pleas, the CPSC’s three Democrats, two of whom were appointed by President Obama, opposed the extension at a June 16 meeting.

“When you hear that regulations are killing jobs and the economy, here is one example that will never make headlines, but is costing small businesses a fortune,” Northup wrote in the Washington Times. She estimated the cost of the lost inventory at $32 million.

But you don’t have to take her word for it. Northup shared a few of the reactions she’s received in the wake of Tuesday’s deadline.

“You can make it illegal to sell cribs and put the proverbial Fear of God into retailers and resellers, but you can’t stop the distribution of these cribs, because they will continue to be passed down through families and around neighborhoods,” wrote Susan from Utah.

Rafael de Castro, executive director of the National Independent Nursery Furniture Retailers Association, said his industry supports the new safety standard. He just wanted the ability to sell the existing inventory. Even though Congress mandated the new safety standard, the CPSC picked the date.

“In both sides of the argument presented to the commission on June 16th, retailers had suffered unnecessary harm cause by this implementation plan, all of which could have been avoided if retailers would have been given an opportunity to sell through their inventor,” de Castro said.

And in New Bedford, MA, Baby Boudoir president Jim Vieira is hoping to save the remaining cribs in stock — if the government get its act together to enables him to retrofit them. He’s hoping for “a miracle to save a number of stores on the brink of bankruptcy.”

This isn’t the last of you’ll hear of the crib complaints. Daycare centers and hotels are the next target of the CPSC. They have until Dec. 28, 2012, to replace all cribs with new models that meet the government’s current safety standard.