May 27, 2010 -- The Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) is surprised by the remarks attributed to Illinois Attorney-General Madigan in an article in The Chicago Tribune's May 25, 2010 edition, as they are both baseless and (as reported) sensationalist assertions, not facts. Here are some overlooked facts.
JPMA relies upon independent CPSC accredited laboratories to verify that juvenile products comply with applicable, independently established ASTM consensus standards. The certification is based on such laboratories verification of testing of all of a manufacturer's crib models. These are the same standards to which Illinois statutes defer. When the new standard, effectively eliminating drop side cribs, was approved late last year, JPMA members report that essentially all stopped manufacturing drop side cribs and did not take advantage of the six-month phase-in period normally used in the certification program.
Safety standards are set by ASTM International, not JPMA. The sub-committee that deals with crib safety, as with all of ASTM's standard-setting bodies, operates by consensus, which means that all those involved must agree before the standard can be set. There are indeed manufacturers on the sub-committee; but there are also a number of consumer organizations that sit on it from time to time. As an example, in the case of crib safety standards, Consumers Union, Consumer Federation of America and Kids in Danger representatives attended standards-setting sessions and approved every standard. Without their approval, the standards could not have been set.
Standards-setting sub-committee meetings are open to everyone, including government officials. Illinois state representatives chose not participate in the development of crib safety standards. Had they participated, the standard could not have been set without their approval. They certainly were aware of the process, including how standards are approved. However, as quoted, the Attorney General's office did not acknowledge that the system operates by consensus and is open to participation by anyone.
JPMA has lodged a protest with the Illinois Attorney-General's office regarding the way in which, as quoted in the Tribune, it seems to have prejudged legal issues outside of due process of law. JPMA has no objection to an orderly inquiry and is certain its procedures will be fully vindicated. However it does object to what seems to be an attempt to abrogate through the media its constitutional right to due process. JPMA has also requested that their office provide any test data they possess that indicate that the cribs did not meet standards in effect at the time they were made by manufacturers. To date, no response has been received.
JPMA has been committed to safe sleep for decades – helping ASTM to create safety standards far beyond those set by government and promoting safe and sound sleeping conditions by working with the medical advocacy community, government agencies, consumer groups and medical professionals to develop safe sleep guidelines.
About the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association
The Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) is a national trade organization of more than 250 companies in the United States, Canada and Mexico. JPMA exists to advance the interests, growth and well-being of North American prenatal to preschool product manufacturers, importers and distributors marketing under their own brands to consumers. It does so through advocacy, public relations, information sharing, product performance certification and business development assistance conducted with appreciation for the needs of parents, children and retailers. Each year, JPMA sponsors Baby Safety Month in September, and in 2010, JPMA is dedicating Baby Safety Month to safe sleep practices. JPMA initiated Baby Safety Month to educate parents and caregivers on the importance of the safe use and selection of juvenile products.
To find out more information about the JPMA Certification Program, the products certified and for a complete listing of JPMA members, please visit www.jpma.org. Follow JPMA on Twitter @JPMA, connect with JPMA on Facebook.com/jpma.org or visit www.jpma.org to learn more about additional safety tips and other JPMA initiatives.
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