Consumer Product Safety Commission chief urged to resign

Filed under: Health & Safety: Babies, In The News, Shopping and recalls

With the increasing number of toy recalls of late, you would think those in charge over at the US Consumer Product Safety Commission would be begging for more money, staff and resources to better ensure the safety of the American public. Not so, according to Speaker of the House Nancy Peolosi and her Democratic Party colleagues. In fact, Nancy Nord, who was appointed chairwoman of the CPSC by President George W. Bush, has steadfastly opposed legislation that would increase the agency's authority and staff, double its budget and increase penalties for safety violations.

Pelosi is now calling for Nord's resignation, saying, "Any commission chair who ..., in the face of the facts that are so clear, says we don't need any more authority or any more resources to do our job, does not understand the gravity of the situation and does not understand the concerns parents have for the safety of their children."

According to the Toy Industry Association, 80 percent of the toys purchased by Americans are made in China. And of all the product recalls made by the CPSC, more than half are of products originating in China. Congress is working to introduce new toy and child product safety legislation, the "Comprehensive Consumer Product Safety Bill", which would ban lead from children's products and paint, require mandatory testing of such products by independent third-party laboratories and ban unsafe and untested imported products. Another proposition would quadruple the penalties assessed against companies who are linked to tainted products.

I am generally not in favor of growing government, but an agency that relies on a toy tester "who drops toys on the floor in his office to see if they break" is clearly not up to the task of keeping our children safe.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.