Magnet Maker Sues Consumer Agency Over Regulatory Overreach

By:  Bob Adelmann
Magnet Maker Sues Consumer Agency Over Regulatory Overreach

The maker of little Zen Magnets has decided to challenge the Consumer Product Safety Commission in a duel to the death.

Shihan Qu, the founder of Zen Magnets, is fighting the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to the bitter end, writing on his company’s website on Monday:

We vow to continue this legal awareness and lobbying battle until our very last drop of cash-flow blood. We will combat CPSC’s magnet prohibition until triumph, or until a glorious death of insolvency on the legal battlefield….

Take this as official notice that Zen Magnets LLC is going All-in.… We will not settle for any sort of stop-sale of magnets that are perfectly safe when not misused.

What’s at issue is not whether Qu can continue to sell his little round magnetic balls, but whether the CPSC has overstepped its bounds by ruling unilaterally that they are unsafe and must be removed from the marketplace. Said differently, it’s whether the CPSC's “nanny-state” mentality will be allowed to override personal responsibility.

The agency isn’t willing to negotiate and is pushing hard in light of its success in intimidating all the other players in the industry to surrender to its demands. It claims that warning labels aren’t sufficient to keep people, especially youngsters and teenagers, from swallowing them which has, according to the agency, already caused some victims to require surgery to remove them from their digestive tracts when they clump together.

As Qu noted on his company’s website, it’s administrative overreach that goes far beyond his little company in Denver, Colorado. If allowed to stand, the implications for every product on the market are huge:

The paramount issue in this case is the CPSC’s argument that warnings don’t work. [The agency alleges] that “no warnings or instructions could be devised that would effectively communicate the [ingestion] hazard so that warnings and instructions could be understood and heeded by consumers to reduce the number of magnet ingestion incidents….

[The agency assumes that] people are unable to follow or understand instructions … [and] makes the judgment that the American Population is not worthy or capable of deciding for themselves.

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