CPSC Continues War on Magnets, Sues Zen Magnets
"Of over 2 million sets of Buckyballs sold in the past 3 years, there have been less than two dozen injuries. Buckyballs have always featured an ingestion warning," Qu said, in defense of Maxfield & Oberton. "Meanwhile, there will be about 100,000 injuries every year in the United States due to backyard trampolines which require Emergency Room treatment, and trampolines are marketed to children. The United States has over 5,000 childhood gun related deaths in a year. 30 American children will die from drowning in Buckets every year. And there have been more skateboard fatalities in 1 year than magnet sphere related injuries in 3."
Qu said that his company has complied with all labeling requirements as well as "invasive investigations" by the CPSC, save for one where the commission requested contact information for every custom of Zen Magnets. He believes that both his company, as well as his competitors, are being unfairly targeted by overly cautious and reactionary legislation. "Nobody disagrees with the CPSC when a stroller that pinches fingers is recalled, or toys with mechanical defects are recalled, or a coffee pot that burns people is recalled," he said. "But the current decision makers at the CPSC lack perspective in their current attempts to ban magnets."
The CPSC's lawsuits against Maxfield & Oberton and Zen Magnets are the first such stop-sale orders issued in a decade. It is rare for the commission to take legal action against companies directly. Qu has created a petition at www.savemagnets.com, asking the CPSC to retract the stop-sale orders against both manufacturers, as well as requesting that the commission allow the other companies it contacted to resume marketing their products.
"The solution to the dangers of magnets is education, not prohibition," Qu said. "Even though there have been no ingestion incidents or injuries involving Zen Magnets, we'd love to work with the CPSC to ensure the continued safety of our customers if you have more reasonable requests."
Kyle A. Richardson is the editorial director of Promo Marketing. He joined the company in 2006 brings more than a decade of publishing, marketing and media experience to the magazine. If you see him, buy him a drink.