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CPSC: Last person out the door, hit the lights

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

baby_crib_toes.jpgWhat’s been happening over at the ol’ Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) since the Giants beat the Patriots in last Sunday’s Superbowl? Not much. On Monday, the CSPC lost virtually all its power to protect U.S. consumers from hazardous products in the marketplace.

And the reason why may leave most Americans scratching their heads. The CSPC is run by a quorum. That means decisions over product recalls, safety standards, fines and penalties are made by three commissioners. However, the panel has been absent one person since the departure of the former Chairman back in July of 2006. Congress quickly moved to give the remaining commissioners the ability to make decisions, or quorum, but the President hasn’t nominated a replacement for the vacant seat. The temporary authority Congress gave the remaining CSPC members expired Monday, leaving the beleaguered Commission unable to order mandatory recalls. Oh well, parents shouldn’t worry. They can still oversee voluntary recalls, and besides, what could possibly happen?

Photo: Baby Toes by jgoldmania.