Does the CPSC really care about child safety?

Now that the holiday season is about to kick into full gear, we can’t help but wonder, is the toy we just bought really safe?  Are we going to read that it’s been recalled next week?  We rely on the government to monitor these issues and protect our kids from faulty manufacturing and unsafe levels of lead that could seriously injure or kill our children.  Yet now comes the news that the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the federal agency tasked with protecting us and our children from dangerous products, is not taking its job seriously.   

Last week, the Senate approved legislation that would give the commission more power and money to monitor potentially life-threatening products.    Specifically, the bill would increase the commission’s budget from about $63 million to nearly $142 million by 2015 and increase its staff by 20%.  It would raise the cap on penalties for safety violations from $1.8 million to $100 million and it would ban lead from all children’s products.   It would also require that the commission make consumer complaints public almost immediately.  Currently, complaints and results of internal investigations are not revealed for weeks while a company has time to respond.   This silence could lead to a child’s injury or even death.

You would think that this would be welcomed by the CPSC.  Shockingly however, Nancy Nord, the acting chairwoman of the CPSC, opposes the bill!  This is an agency that is in desperate need of an overhaul.  Their budget and staff has continued to dwindle over the years.  Perhaps most shockingly, it was revealed that there is only one inspector within the entire agency charged with testing toys to make sure they are safe for our children!    How can this be?  Perhaps the answer lies with the company Ms. Nord keeps.  On Friday, the Washington Post reported that Nord took "dozens of trips at the expense of the toy, appliance and children’s furniture industries and others they regulate."

This is outrageous!  As mom’s we need to send a loud message to Ms. Nord and the CPSC that we will not stand for this callous disregard for our children’s safety!  Moms Rising, a grass roots organization that allows our voice to be heard,  is delivering a petition to Congress demanding their support in strengthening the agency tasked with keeping our children safe and replacing anyone who stands in the way of this vital mission.  I urge you to  sign this petition by clicking here and pass this post along to your friends, co-workers and families.  Let’s make sure that this holiday season, as our children are opening gifts, we can be assured that they are safe and lead-free. 

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