cpsiaIn a bizarrely ironic turn of events, Mattel, the company whose six product recalls inspired the CPSC to institute third-party lead testing on all products aimed at children, has been exempted from these very tests.

Mattel spent $1 million dollars in lobbying to convince the CPSC that it’s own internal tests were both good enough and untainted by corporate influence. Naturally, this results in Mattel saving a bundle of money, while smaller companies without such internal resources get hit with the high costs of third-party testing.

The request and exemption was done quietly, with no advertisement and no press release, thus surprising many. The CPSC is now fielding similar requests for exemptions from other companies.