Zen Magnets Vows to Fight CPSC
DENVER, Aug. 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Zen Magnet LLC is now the last surviving contender in the battle against the CPSC's (Consumer Product Safety Commission) attempt to remove aggregate sets of high powered magnets similar to Buckyballs from the US market. "We will not settle for any sort of stop-sale of magnets that are perfectly safe when not misused," stated in a Zen Magnets press release.(1) Zen vows to "combat the CPSC's magnet prohibition until ... death of insolvency." The higher powered magnets are targeted because they pose an ingestion hazard to children. Swallowed magnets can connect internally, which may require surgery to remove. The CPSC wants magnet sets off the market entirely, believing they represent unacceptable risk to people who might eat them.(2)
The federal agency alleges Zen Magnets are defective as "No warnings or instructions could be devised that would effectively communicate the [ingestion] hazard so that the warnings and instructions could be understood and heeded by consumers to reduce the number of magnet ingestion incidents."(3, Paragraph 89) And also alleges that the magnets "have low utility to customers."(3, Paragraph 105)
The recent press(1) release by Zen Magnets rebuts that "nearly everybody (over 99.99%) is able to use them safely." And that "polls show consumers would rather see a ban on tobacco, than an all-ages nation-wide non-consensual market removal" of the magnets. "By forcefully insisting on a comprehensive ban, instead of negotiating age labeling, or collaborating on an educational campaign, this becomes no longer a legal discussion about safety [but instead] about the US Government's stance on whether or not art and education is a valid use for magnets, when it has no right to usurp the decision of usefulness from individuals in the first place."
In 2012, the CPSC sent voluntary recall requests to over a dozen companies, only Buckyballs, Zen Magnets and Magnicube were willing to risk refusing and bear the cost of doing so. All three companies faced lawsuits from the federal agency, which sought a mandatory recall. The CPSC's August 4th announcement of a recall(3) for Magnicube brand magnets, concludes the Magnicube company's litigation. Craig Zucker, CEO of the Buckyballs company, gave up and settled(5) for a fine of $375,000 to be spent on a recall earlier this year. Now that the two brands are recalled, it is illegal to sell magnets which are labeled "Buckyballs" and "Magnicube," although similar magnets can be found from many industrial magnet companies that don't mention their use for art or education. Over 85% of the neodymium magnet spheres on market are estimated to be Buckyballs.
"The harm of products can be categorized into three groups. There are products that are meant to cause harm. These are products like guns, pepper spray, brass knuckles, tasers, warships, and most other products that come out of the military industrial complex. There are products that may be reasonably expected cause harm, even if used responsibly. Alcohol, tobacco, trampolines, skateboards, ATVs, skis, snowboards. Things with warnings that say 'Using this is inherently dangerous'. And then there are products that are only dangerous if misused. This is the category that every other product falls under, including magnet spheres. Anything can cause harm if misused."
The hearing date is set for December, and the case will be heard by an administrative law judge. Until then, sets of magnets sold by Zen Magnets LLC will be available at http://zenmagnets.com and http://neoballs.com for at least one more holiday season.
Media Contact: Shihan Qu, Zen Magnets LLC
SOURCE Zen Magnets LLC