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In today’s Wall Street Journal, Abby W. Schachter explains IKEA’s recall capitulation and how our consumer safety regulations are driven by irrational fears:
Under pressure from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, IKEA last month recalled 36 million dressers. In 2014 and 2015, three children were killed by the furniture after it tipped over on top of them.
Those deaths were tragic, but they were also anomalies. IKEA’s furniture poses no major safety threat to consumers, who can eliminate the danger by anchoring the dressers to a wall as the company instructs. Yet the Swedish firm must now spend untold sums to recall furniture that in many cases is more than a decade old. The scale of the recall is unprecedented and would send most companies into bankruptcy. “It’s truly remarkable,” a source with the CPSC told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “A scope that we haven’t seen from the agency. It’s total capitulation by IKEA.”
This type of fear-driven regulation—providing negligible safety benefits while sabotaging legitimate businesses—is now common. The CPSC long ago abandoned its mandate to protect Americans from “unreasonable risks of injury or death.” Instead, using an expanded and seemingly arbitrary interpretation of risk, its busybodies have embarked on a crusade against everything from baby seats to adult office toys.
Read the full article here. For more from Abby W. Schachter, read No Child Left Alone: Getting the Government Out of Parenting out August 16th.