The toy industry’s new safety-testing push may succeed in rebuilding trust, but it’s likely to leave dangerous ways unchecked—and the big guys know it, argues Slate’s E. Marla Felcher. The current scandals are matters of enforcement, not of the regulations themselves, but the new call for third-party testing looks, superficially, like a step forward.
"Why is the toy industry now calling for third-party testing?" Felcher asks. "The short answer is Christmas." Parents may be impressed with the industry's concern; indeed, testing could hasten discovery of hidden dangers. But the proposed system wouldn’t check for design flaws—the culprit in 76% of recalls—and the big companies would know how to skirt it anyway.