I got a letter back! Watermarked Congressional letterhead and all! This is what it said:
Thank you for contacting me regarding third party testing and labeling requirements for toys that were included in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008. I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue.
As you may know, this legislation was signed into law by the President on August 14, 2008. The intent of the bill was to increase protections against lead in products specifically made for children. The bill also increased civil penalties against people who violate consumer product laws. Starting Feb. 10, 2009, every business involved in domestic toy sales must prove that independent laboratories have tested their products for excessive lead, or face fines up to $100,000 for each violation.
I believe that this legislation was needed in order to reassure American consumers that the toys they purchase are safe. However, I am deeply concerned that these regulations will hurt small producers and retailers who, as you point out, have an outstanding record of safety when it comes to manufacturing and selling toys. I am hopeful that as the 111th Congress convenes, legislation correcting this oversight will be introduced and passed.
Again, thank you for contacting me. I always appreciate hearing from my fellow Oklahomans on the issues about which they are concerned. Your input helps me do a better job representing the people of the Fourth District of Oklahoma. If I may ever be of any assistance to either you or your family, please do not hesitate to conttct me. I also encourage you to visit my website at www.house.gov/cole to keep up with what is happening in Congress, and to learn about the services my office can provide to the citizens of Oklahoma.
Member of Congress
So it looks like maybe my letter (and the dozens of others I'm sure he's gotten by now) had an effect! Yay! This is the first time that I've actually gotten a somewhat personalized letter back about an issue I contacted a state rep/congressman about, so you'll have to excuse my excitement.