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Nord to reporters: Congress shouldn't ban lead

Friday, January 11, 2008

Nancy_Nord.jpg Good news, parents! The (acting) Chief of the Consumer Product Safety Commission doesn’t see a need for a ban on lead in consumer products.

That’s right, even after the onslaught of negative press she and her agency received after a number of imported toys were found to contain lead, Nancy Nord has taken a stand: Lead must not be banned from all consumer products.

Nord, a former industry lawyer, opposes key provisions, including a total ban on lead, and a requirement that the CPSC make consumer product hazard complaints public without prior approval by the manufacturer, as is the case now. [Emphasis ours, of course.]

Adding additional worry for consumers concerned about what the federal government can do to prevent dangerous products from coming into the country and onto shelves, President Bush pushed for an increase in the CPSC budget of $550,000 – a sum so paltry it would have required Nord to actually fire 19 inspectors. While the President and his handpicked former industry lawyer Nord didn’t see any reason to beef up the CPSC, the Congress did. They approved an in increase of $17 million, bringing the FY-08 budget for the Consumer Product Safety Commission up to $80 million.