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Consumer Reports: Congress must repeal law that hides product dangers from public

CR endorses new bicameral bill to end deadly secrecy law that protects companies at the expense of consumer safety

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Consumer Reports today endorsed a new bill in Congress sponsored by U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) and U.S. Rep. Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.) to make sure that the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) can promptly alert the public about hazardous products on the market and in people’s homes.


The Sunshine in Product Safety Act would repeal section 6(b) of the Consumer Product Safety Act, a notorious provision of law that has been shown to prevent or delay the CPSC from warning consumers about serious safety hazards, including those associated with Peloton Tread+ treadmills, Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play Sleepers, and other products linked to children’s deaths. Section 6(b) generally blocks the CPSC from telling the public about a specific product’s dangers without manufacturer permission.


William Wallace, manager of safety policy at Consumer Reports, said, “It’s appalling. When the CPSC wants to tell people about a product that could hurt or kill them, they usually have to get the company’s permission first. Section 6(b) fundamentally protects manufacturers and their bottom line while leaving consumers and children at risk. Every member of Congress should support the Sunshine in Product Safety Act because it would put people’s safety first.”


CR says section 6(b) is an untenable policy that delays needed recalls and leaves parents, caregivers, and all consumers in the dark. The Sunshine in Product Safety Act would allow the CPSC to publicly share critical information about unsafe products without risking a lawsuit by the product’s manufacturer. 


Oriene Shin, policy counsel at Consumer Reports, said, “People should be able to learn about hazardous products immediately. The Sunshine in Product Safety Act would help people, especially parents, have the information they need to keep their loved ones safe. Companies would be held accountable for doing the right thing, instead of hiding behind the law and letting deadly secrets harm people for months or years.” 


In addition to Consumer Reports, the Sunshine in Product Safety Act is endorsed by the Consumer Federation of America, Kids In Danger, and Public Citizen. 




Contact: David Butler, david.butler@consumer.org

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Consumer Reports is an independent, nonprofit membership organization that works side by side with consumers to create a fairer, safer, and healthier world. For 85 years, CR has provided evidence-based product testing and ratings, rigorous research, hard-hitting investigative journalism, public education, and steadfast policy action on behalf of consumers’ interests. Unconstrained by advertising or other commercial influences, CR has exposed landmark public health and safety issues and strives to be a catalyst for pro-consumer changes in the marketplace. From championing responsible auto safety standards, to winning food and water protections, to enhancing healthcare quality, to fighting back against predatory lenders in the financial markets, Consumer Reports has always been on the front lines, raising the voices of consumers.