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Statement on House passage of CPSC reform bill

* Consumers Union * Consumer Federation of America * Union of Concerned Scientists *
* U.S. Public Interest Research Group *

Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Statement of Consumer and Scientific Groups on House Passage of CPSC Reform Bill

December 19, 2007 – Today, consumer and scientific groups commended the House of Representatives’ passage of H.R. 4040, the Consumer Product Safety Modernization Act. Consumers Union, Consumer Federation of America, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, and the Union of Concerned Scientists released the following statement:
“We appreciate the hard work that has gone into crafting H.R. 4040, the Consumer Product Safety Modernization Act, and thank the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Leadership for their prompt action today. 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 Senate, where we look forward to working with members as they continue to work to strengthen the nation’s product safety net. We understand that the Senate is working on a measure that would give the CPSC greater enforcement authority, such as state attorney general enforcement of consumer protections; toy testing standards; public disclosure of important product hazard information; and critical protections for whistleblowers, among others. We hope to work with both the House and the 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 Consumer Product Safety Commission; 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 House of Representatives to ensure that the CPSC is doing all it should to protect our children.
We also commend both houses for the anticipated final passage later today 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.”

Rachel Weintraub, CFA (202) 387-6121
Ellen Bloom, CU (202) 462-6262
Ed Mierzwinski, U.S. PIRG (202) 546-9707
Celia Wexler, UCS (202) 331-6952