Sling Shot

Published June 8, 2011

A small company selling baby slings on the Internet has gone out of business after the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) investigated the owner’s slings, ordered her to recall them, and finally–years later–found her product safe.

Several years ago, a child had died after having been carried in a sling. The CPSC did an in-depth investigation and found no connection between the sling and the death. The company was notified.

But in 2010 CPSC contacted the company again and said it was reopening its investigation. Its owner was given two choices while the investigation was pending: stop selling the sling, or face a mandatory recall. She stopped selling the sling.

Eight months later, no recall took place, and the investigation cleared her product. But it was too late–she had already defaulted on her Small Business Administration loan and closed her business.

Republican CPSC Commissioner Nancy Nord commented on her Web site that the agency needs to act more quickly to complete its investigations and ought to be more flexible in ordering business to stop selling products.

Source: Nancy Nord, “When it Comes to Small Business, Don’t Look at What We Say; Look at What We Do,”, June 8, 2011