Monday, November 12, 2007

Ideology trumping kid safety at CPSC?

I meant to post this last week, but you know how it goes.

The New York Times reported that Nancy Nord, the head of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, has asked Congress not to increase their authority and funding to protect the public. Here's the Times editorial.

Congress is taking this action in the midst of week after week of toy recalls, most of which have lead paint from China. If you are a parent you know that probably 95% of toys are made in China. And there is no way to know if the toys you are buying are safe.

The CPSC has one toy inspector. One. Almost all of our toys come from overseas and there is one full time inspector.

So now the head of the agency is about to get resources to better protect Americans and she writes a note that she'd rather not. She has a number of objections, some of which may even be defensible, but instead of working with the lawmakers to craft a workable solution, Ms. Nord is joining with industry lobbyists to oppose the legislation.

OK - the commission's WHOLE JOB is to protect the public. They are understaffed and unable to carry out their function in a land full of imports and new consumer products. And now Nancy Nord is effectively lobbying against the interests of her own agency and the public she is supposed to serve.

This is what happens when you put "starve the beast" ideologues in positions of power. You get the guy against international law as Ambassador to the UN, you get a toothless EPA, and you get the head of the CPSC that doesn't want the resources to be able to better protect the public. Heckuva job, Nancy.

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