Consumer Products Safety Commission Administrator Planning For A Heavy Metal Christmas

We're wondering if proponents of this strategy are aware of how the pushback will come about? NGO's will simply buy a market basket of toys and test lead levels or whatever with private labs, reporting the results without the kind of quality controls and protocols that are needed to obtain accurate and fair results. Right before Christmas of course. Matter of fact, this is going to be a truly fine Christmas season for the reporting of heavy metal content in toys.

The nation’s top official for consumer product safety has asked Congress in recent days to reject legislation intended to strengthen the agency, which polices thousands of consumer goods, from toys to tools...

On the eve of an important Senate committee meeting to consider the legislation, Nancy A. Nord [pictured], the acting chairwoman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, has asked lawmakers in two letters not to approve the bulk of legislation that would increase the agency’s authority, double its budget and sharply increase its dwindling staff.

Ms. Nord opposes provisions that would increase the maximum penalties for safety violations and make it easier for the government to make public reports of faulty products, protect industry whistle-blowers and prosecute executives of companies that willfully violate laws.

The measure is an effort to buttress an agency that has been under siege because of a raft of tainted and dangerous products manufactured both domestically and abroad. In the last two months alone, more than 13 million toys have been recalled after tests indicated lead levels that sometimes reached almost 200 times the safety limit...

The agency has suffered from a steady decline in its budget and staffing in recent years. Its staff numbers about 420, about half its size in the 1980s. It has only one full-time employee to test toys. And 15 inspectors are assigned to police all imports of consumer products under the agency’s supervision, a marketplace that last year was valued at $614 billion.

Via::New York Times, "Bigger Budget? No, Responds Safety Agency" Image credit::New York Times

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