Obama’s war on magnets: Feds sue to ban Buckyballs

buckyballs magnet toy banned governmentThe fun-hating U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has filed a lawsuit against the maker of Buckyballs to have the powerful magnet toy removed from shelves, reports USA Today. Amazon, Brookstone, and Urban Outfitters have already agreed to stop selling Buckyballs, which the CPSC says pose a choking risk to children and even teenagers who swallowed them while pretending they were piercings.

Never before in our lives has this article from The Onion been more relevant.

In its lawsuit, the CPSC says that Buckyballs and Buckycubes pose a “substantial product hazard,” and argues the company’s warning that the super-strong magnets are “not manufactured, promoted, labeled, or intended for children” is not good enough. Nor is the warning on the box that says the magnets are not for children, and anyone who swallows them should be taken to the hospital immediately. Further, the CPSC says that Buckyballs should refund customers’ money, and post a message on its website stating that the product is defective.

In response to the CPSC lawsuit, Maxfield and Oberton, maker of Buckyballs, accused the Federal commission of “trying to drive a $50 million New York-based consumer product company out of business.”

“We are deeply disappointed that the CPSC has decided to go after our firm — and magnets in general,” said Craig Zucker, founder and CEO of Maxfield and Oberton, in a statement. “Magnets have been around for centuries and are used for all sorts of purposes. Our products are marketed to those 14 and above and out of over half a billion magnets in the market place CPSC has received reports of less than two-dozen cases of misuse. We worked with the Commission in order to do an education video less than nine months ago, so we are shocked they are taking this action.

“We find it unfair, unjust and un-American,” added Zucker. “We will vigorously fight this action taken by President Obama’s hand picked agency.”

I completely understand that parenting is hard, and it’s impossible to protect young children from the countless risks out there. But I’m sorry, if you’re not able to keep foreign objects out of your body by the time you’re 13, well, good luck — the CPSC isn’t always going to swoop in to save you from natural selection.

To help save Buckyballs, I’ve created a White House petition to urge President Obama to end his war on magnets, and force the CPSC to drop its lawsuit against Buckyballs. We need 25,000 signatures by August 24th for the petition to have any effect whatsoever. Please, pass it along. (Short URL: http://wh.gov/CE0T – hashtag #savebuckyballs)

Godspeed, Buckyballs. Godspeed…