Chemical industry lobbyist shouldn’t be in charge of children’s safety

Media Contacts
Danielle Melgar

Former Food & Agriculture, Advocate, PIRG


Senate should reject dangerously unqualified nominee Nancy Beck to head CPSC

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee will hold a confirmation hearing Tuesday on the president’s nomination of Nancy Beck to be a commissioner and chair of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The CPSC regulates 15,000 products, ranging from ATVs to children’s toys. If confirmed, Beck would have a 7-year term, although a new president could select a different chair. U.S. PIRG and its state affiliates formally oppose the nomination.

U.S. PIRG Federal Consumer Program Senior Director Ed Mierzwinski and Make It Toxic-Free Advocate Danielle Melgar issued the following statements:

“When I came to Washington in 1989, the CPSC was still recovering from the destruction wrought by the Reagan administration. But following 2007’s Year of the Recall, in which millions of lead-laden and other hazardous foreign toys and consumer products were recalled, Congress restored its ability to protect the public — especially children. But with Nancy Beck, a longtime chemical industry lobbyist, poised to take over this important agency, children and the rest of us are at grave risk. Whether it was working for the big chemical lobby, the EPA or the White House, Nancy Beck’s job description didn’t seem to change. Her career promoting the deregulation of dangerous chemicals makes her a dangerous fox guarding the henhouse and should be disqualifying. The Senate should not even hold a vote on this dangerously unqualified nominee to head the CPSC,” said Mierzwinski.

“As the Trump administration’s “Toxics Czar” for the last three years, Beck has led the deregulation charge and has repeatedly opted to leave the public in the dark and vulnerable to exposure to toxic chemicals. These chemicals include lead, asbestos, the brain-damaging pesticide chlorpyrifos and the pervasive PFAS “forever chemicals” that pollute our drinking water and are among the products the CPSC is charged with regulating. She has repeatedly altered the way we evaluate risks of toxic chemicals by overstating uncertainty, downplaying data accepted by mainstream science and excluding evidence. That’s not the resume we need for the chair of the Consumer Product Safety Commission,” said Melgar.