With the news of lead in lunchbags and bpa risks in baby bottles and sippy cups, I have been wondering who and what the Consumer Product Saftey Commission (CPSC) is. The CPSC is an “independent” agency of the US federal government, meaning it does not exist within any department in the Executive branch; however, the president appoints commissioners. The Commission is normally made up of three commissioners, but one seat has been vacant since July 2006. My friend Tim alerted me to the issue that the commission can no longer act with just two commissioners. Bush proposes to appoint Michael E. Baroody to the CPSC. Baroody is the chief lobbyist for the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), a powerful trade group that opposes aggressive product safety regulation. What a logical choice for the agency that protects American consumers from unsafe products! The CPSC can still issue recall alerts in this “semi-neutered status“,but it can not impose fines on companies that violate the laws. I can’t help but wonder if the lacksadaisical attitude of the CPSC regarding lead in lunch bags and bpa in baby bottles and sippy cups is related to the commission’s current status and direction from the president. Thank goodness for truly independent groups that test these products!
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Z Recommends for information on recalls
Our previous posts on lead in children’s toys and lunchbags (including alternative products)
Safe sippy cups and BPA risks in bottles and toys.