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  • Petitioning Robert Adler

This petition will be delivered to:

CPSC Vice Chariman
Robert Adler
Executive Director CPSC
Kenneth Hinson
CPSC Chairman
Inez Tenenbaum

US CPSC: Cease Magnet Prohibition!

    1. Shihan Qu
    2. Petition by

      Shihan Qu

      Boulder, CO

This petition is linked at SaveMagnets.com

Update: 88% of US Registered Voters against the ban, according to PPP.

Although it sounds like a fictitious Onion article, this is real and happening. Right now, the CPSC is attempting to ban magnet spheres from the market. If the CPSC succeeds, magnets will be harder to obtain than ammunition in the US.

To be clear, this branch of the Federal Government isn't asking for regulation in the manner similar to consumer vehicles (age 16+), tobaco (18+), rifles (18+), handguns (21+) or alcohol (21+). They are requesting that all magnet sphere distributors and retailers "immediately stop manufacturing, importing, distributing and selling all [magnet spheres]." These requests were sent even to companies (E.g. ZenMagnets, Magnicube) that have never had ingestion incidents. Major retailers such as Amazon and eBay have already agreed to remove all magnet spheres from their site due to these CPSC requests.

Recently, Zen Magnets and Buckyballs received unusually harsh Administrative complaint lawsuits as well. According to the New York Times, "the action involving Buckyballs and Zen Magnets is unusual because the safety commission rarely files an administrative complaint, which is essentially a request for a mandatory recall." The complaint against Zen Magnets also marks the first administrative complaint filed against a company with no record of injury, in the history of the CPSC.

Of over 2 million sets of Buckyballs sold in the past 3 years, there have been less than two dozen injuries. Buckyballs has always featured an ingestion warning. The CPSC estimates 1700 ingestion incidents of "magnet sets" from 2009-2011. Yes, nearly as many injuries were present from "magnet sets" for the 3 years prior to magnet sets on the market, using the same estimation methodology.

For some perspective, on average 5 American children a day will die daily from choking on food, (hot dogs are a known choking hazard, and don't require warnings.) 30 children will drown in buckets every year in the US. And there have been more American skate board deaths in 2011, than magnet sphere injuries in the 3 years following 2011 . There are many more products that shouldn't be handled by children, and cause far more injuries that CPSC doesn't take issue with. 

The CPSC is a necessary organization in the protection of consumers. But by pushing for an unfair ban that's drastically inconsistent with the hazards of other products, the CPSC wastes federal tax dollars, and dilutes the strength, power, and reputation of their organization. Not only do they endanger a product with proven educational, therapeutic and artistic benefits, they endanger your rights and liberties. The CPSC has the power to immediately stop targeting the magnet sphere industry, and if thousands of Americans voiced their concerns, they would be forced to listen.

The CPSC may have the best intentions in trying to protect kids, but a one size fits all ban is not the right way to go about it. Just as is the case with firearms, swimming pools, and balloons, the solution to the safety problem is education and not prohibition. When it comes to product safety, every one of the links is responsible: companies, parents, children. 

This is why I am petitioning the US CPSC to *retract the stop-sale and recall requests of magnet spheres.* I hope you will join me. Your comments will also be included with the delivery of the final petition.

- Shihan Qu, Zen Magnets Gallery Curator


Read more:








Recent signatures


    1. CPSC bossman gets served a stack of signatures.

      Shihan Qu
      Petition Organizer

      Five thousand petition signatures delivered to CPSC Commissioner Robert Adler, who initially tried to refuse receipt. Full details here:

      To everybody who has signed, you're awesome. On the internet, your half minute of action is as valuable as ten pictures of cats. At least.

    2. Reached 5,000 signatures
    3. The Tides Change, with New Poll Results

      Shihan Qu
      Petition Organizer

      GREAT NEWS! The tides of the battle are quickly changing.
      New Poll Results show 88% are against a ban (6% unsure), and 6% in approval.

      Until now, there has been no accurate litmus test of public opinion. And a 9/10 consensus is almost unheard of in a country that internally disagrees on so many topics. Presidents win on margins of less than 1%. NSA spying is "Really, Really unpopular" with a disapproval rate of 56%. Previously, there were hundreds of letters, thousands of petition signatures, and tens of thousands of news article comments which were easy for the CPSC to ignore. Now, we have a solid expectation of results from registered voters, within a definitive margin of error.

      Full update here:

      Please share these results, especially with journalists and bloggers!
      We Can Do This.

      Polls Are In, CPSC Ban Really, Really Unpopular.

      Posted by Zen Magnets on Jul 17, 2013 in Featured, Press Releases According to a new national poll conducted by PPP, 88% of those polled say they don't agree with an all ages magnet sphere ban compared to the 6% who approved the CPSC's actions against consumer high powered magnet sets.

    4. Reached 4,000 signatures
    5. Buckyballs falls. Zen fights alone.

      Shihan Qu
      Petition Organizer

      Buckyballs threw in the towel, announced discontinuation, making Zen Magnets the last standing in the US. The AAP and NASPHGAN hand out prewritten think-of-the-children letters, instructing pediatricians to comment in support of CPSC magnet ban rulemaking.

      Full update here:

    6. Reached 3,000 signatures
    7. Reached 2,500 signatures
    8. Tiny summary of events in the fight against the CPSC.

      Shihan Qu
      Petition Organizer

      The petition has been live for 2 weeks, now at 2200+. Quick Summary:

      Bad news is CPSC is pushing the ban very hard. Zen Magnets received (8/6/12) the same type of lawsuit as Buckyballs. And "CPSC staff experts do not believe warnings will ever be effective in protecting children" from magnets. Zen Magnets will likely file for bankruptcy (read: die) in the upcoming months due to legal costs. But it's not certain yet. Hopefully Buckyballs can carry the fight solo if that happens. If the CPSC wins, magnet spheres will be harder to obtain than ammunition.

      The good news, is that there is a voice of reason among the CPSC Commissioners, and public opinion is strongly on our side. Nancy Nord voiced her concerns over the argument of ineffective warnings: "It calls into question [other labeling standards] made by the CPSC." She also noted that balloons cause much more injuries, less utility, and also can be separated from warnings.

      Please thank her at: nnord@cpsc.gov

      Fight on.

    9. Reached 2,000 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Ryan Beck PARKER, CO
      • 1 day ago

      It's a little ridiculous to me that magnets are becoming a bigger issue and target for regulators then the real world issues that need addressing.

    • Patricia Gardner SAN RAMON, CA
      • 8 days ago

      Because it's senseless to ban these fun and educational toys because they might be dangerous if used incorrectly. Almost everything could be dangerous if used incorrectly. The government is being absurd.

      • 12 days ago

      Government inventing false risks along with the promise to protect citizens from them ... any one with a brain knows what they are really up to and it has nothing to do with a genuine concern for people's well-being.

      • 19 days ago

      Government needs to be careful about being overprotective. Let's leave some responsibilities with the people/parents. This is clearly a case where the buyer/user is able to control/limit his risk and not some carcinogen we cant see and therefor cant protect against.

    • Joel Benford SAN JOSE, CA
      • 28 days ago

      Because it's just not right. Why are cars still legal? Because it's the driver not the car. Why are potato chips and sodas still legal? Because it's what YOU put in your mouth. I am an RC model aircraft enthusiast who needs these magnets. The magnets don't have a mind of their own, airheads. Blame the person who left them out, just like cars and potato chips and soda. You can knock someone out with an iPad. Should we ban them? NO! This is completely absurd.


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