The U.S. Senate passed the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Reform Act last month. If this significant bill survives, it will bring much-needed improvements to an agency that has too long been ignored and under-resourced. The senators who voted for this bill should be commended for taking meaningful steps toward improving the safety of American consumers. In spite of intense opposition from industry and the White House, those senators who stood tall produced a good bill for American consumers, but its provisions will have to survive a conference committee’s report to become law. As you may know, a separate bill that passed the House is much weaker than the one passed in the Senate. The two bills will now go to a conference committee.
The CPSC needs more resources and authority, and a greater sense of urgency when it comes to hazards that can injure and kill, especially in light of the record 473 product recalls in 2007. In this regard, the Senate bill is certainly a major step in the right direction. That bill increases the CPSC’s funding, creates a public database of information on hazardous products, gives state attorneys general more authority to protect their residents from unsafe products, sets lower acceptable lead levels for children’s products, improves safety standards and testing for toys, and offers important whistleblower protection to employees who report unsafe products and legal violations.
Both the Senate and the House bills will wind up before a conference committee where differences in the two bills will be worked out. This committee should keep the health and safety of American consumers and children at the forefront of its discussions. This congressional committee has an opportunity to put together a strong bill that American consumers badly need. Anything less would be unacceptable. The House and Senate have a duty to make significant improvements to consumer product safety law in this country. After a year of recalls of millions of lead-tainted toys and other hazardous products, many made in China, the improvements found in the Senate bill are essential to consumer safety. Lead content in toys should be banned and independent testing of children’s products mandated. The ban on chemicals known as phthalates in children’s products must remain in the Senate bill. The CPSC’s budget, staff, enforcement clout, and presence at U.S. ports must be enhanced. A publicly-available database on mishaps related to consumer products must be created. Protections to whistleblowers inside corporations are also necessary. If you agree that the conference committee should adopt the Senate bill, contact your U.S. Senators and House members immediately and ask them to see that the conference committee members do the right thing!
Source: Public Citizen
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.