Statement of Diane E. Brown, Executive Director, on U.S. House Passage of Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Reform

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Arizona PIRG

The Arizona Public Interest Research Group (Arizona PIRG) appreciates the hard work that has gone into crafting H.R. 4040, the Consumer Product Safety Modernization Act.  Our current product safety system is in dire need of comprehensive reform, and this bill represents the first concrete effort to help protect consumers while addressing industry concerns.

The issue now moves to the U.S. Senate, where we look forward to working with members as they continue to work to strengthen the nation’s product safety net.  The U.S. Senate should hold, and the U.S. House should agree to, stronger U.S. Senate provisions on Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) enforcement authority, State Attorney General’s enforcement of consumer protections; subjecting dangerous magnets to toy testing standards; public disclosure of important product hazard information; and critical protections for whistleblowers, among others.  We hope to work with both the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate to get a strong final CPSC reform bill to the President as soon next year as possible.

H.R. 4040, the Consumer Product Safety Modernization Act, reflects a compromise to fix our broken product safety system.  This bill: increases funding and staff for the CPSC; includes a major provision to reduce lead in children’s toys and other products; and establishes new testing requirements for children’s products.

This bill is a meaningful step in the effort to give CPSC the tools it needs to protect American consumers, especially children, from the hazards posed by unsafe products. We look forward to continued oversight by the U.S. House of Representatives to ensure that the CPSC is doing all it should to protect our children.

We also commend both houses for the final passage of provisions in the Omnibus package providing CPSC with an $80 million budget for FY08 –$17 million more than the Commission received last year, and $16.75 million than the Administration’s request. While Congress hasn’t yet given America’s littlest consumers the safe toys that full CPSC reform will guarantee, this is a tremendous stocking stuffer.

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