Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Durbin: CPSIA Most Important Consumer Legislation in more than 30 Years

From the Office of U.S. Senator Dick Durbin

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement today regarding the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPISA) – a measure signed into law last year which gives the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) new authorities and resources and significantly strengthens its ability to protect Americans from defective and unsafe products.

“In the last few years, dozens of children were killed and thousands more injured because of dangerous toys on our store shelves. Recall after recall had many in Congress wondering if America’s consumer watchdog agency had lost its bite.”

“In response, Congress passed, and President Bush signed, the bipartisan Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act - virtually eliminating lead from toys and children’s products, providing new enforcement tools and requiring manufacturers to prove their products meet national safety standards before those products can be sold in stores.”

“Don’t be fooled. The CPSIA is the most important consumer legislation in more than thirty years. It has made consumers safer and the CPSC stronger. CPSC has the authority and the responsibility to offer guidance about the law’s implementation and its effect on industry. But above all else, it has a duty to place consumer safety over industry convenience.”

“Sadly, some at the CPSC are doing everything in their power to thwart effective implementation of this law. The same people who presided over the decline of the agency and resisted additional resources and authorities to strengthen its mission, are now refusing to apply commonsense interpretations to basic safety provisions in the CPSIA.”

Durbin chairs the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government and has been a leader in attempting to strengthen the beleaguered consumer watchdog agency. Last year, Durbin was instrumental in passing the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act and was responsible for providing the largest funding increase in the history of the agency to help address critical staffing shortfalls, technology upgrades, and laboratory space needs.

Last week Durbin sent a letter to Nancy Nord, Acting Chairman of the CPSC, expressing concern with her recent comments criticizing new legislation, and showing continued resistance to modernizing and reforming the much maligned agency she leads. A copy of that letter is attached.


cmmjaime said...

Where do these statistics come from? Dozens of children have NOT been killed by lead laden or phthalate laden products! And thousands have not been injured by them. This law is an outrage, and Senator Durbin and the Illinois Channel are adding to the lies that helped get it passed in the first place.

Mars Feeney said...

cmmjaime - Senator Durbin knows full well that the stats he mentions have nothing to do with lead or phthalates. He also knows that lead and phthalates are what is at issue.

So while his statement is technically correct it is also thoroughly dishonest. Congressional Democrats (I am a Democrat, by the way) have steadfastly refused to address every issue raised by the many people being affected by this law:

- How much do books contribute to lead poisoning? Democrats response: silence.

- How much do atv's contribute to lead poisoning? Democrats response: silence.

- How much do children's products for children older that say 4 or five contribute to lead poisoning? Democrats response: silence.

- Across the board unit testing requirements of the CPSIA are monumentally inefficient, why not require a more efficient component testing system? Democrats response: silence.

All this silence begs a question: if the Congressional Democrats have any reasonable arguments to back up their position, why aren't they using them?

The CPSIA is doing great damage. They have no right to remain silent or simply spout red herrings!

As I said above I am a Democrat. I have been a Democrat all my life. If the Congressional Democrats continue refusing to address the real issues of this law, I will not be one by the next voting cycle.