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White House has a plan for consumer safety

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

white_house.jpgThe Bush administration will unveil a plan today to give the FDA and CPSC more authority over imports. Congress, you may know, is already considering what action to take on consumer safety; their plan has been met with resistance by manufacturers (shocked, aren't you?) and, unfortunately, by the administration.

Now, this could go a lot of ways, but I'm going to try to look on the bright side -- the side on which Congress passes strong, meaningful consumer safety reform legislation -- and I think there are two ways this could turn out well.

  1. The President's plan is strong on imports, and Congress adopts many of the points in question and expands on the plan to improve consumer safety.
  2. The President's plan is lousy and way too soft on imports, spurring Congress into action and creating consumer safety legislation that actually protects consumers.
Of course, in the latter case, the administration may just respond by vetoing the legislation. But I'm thinking positive here. Of course, it's hard to think positive when the acting administrator of the CPSC opposes reform that would increase funding and authority for her organization.

While we're on the subject of consumer safety: The provincial government in Guangdong, China may help toy manufacturers sue Mattel. They toy company's recall of lead-tainted products, say the manufacturers, has ruined their reputation.

"The incident has stained the reputation of Chinese toy manufacturers and made a large number toy factories in Guangdong lose a great deal of money, even though Mattel has apologized to China," Guangdong fair trade bureau director Chen Lipeng said.
I. . . There's just nothing I can even say about that, except to point out that it would have made a great article for the Onion.


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