Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Update Regarding Product Safety

As mentioned in one of my previous blogs, I signed a petition regarding the poisoning of Americans by China. Here was a reply I received:

"Thank you for contacting me about your concern for the safety of products imported to the United States. I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue.

I agree with you that the recent influx of unsafe items from China is alarming, and that we need to examine our system of screening imports. You will be pleased to know that Congress has already taken significant action in this regard.

On November 1, Representative Bobby Rush of Illinois introduced H.R. 4040, the Consumer Product Safety Modernization Act. The bill deals with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the independent agency responsible for the safety of some 15,000 consumer products in the United States. Specifically, the legislation would strengthen the CPSC's safety standards and review processes and provide increased funding for general operations and for renovation of its testing laboratory.

On November 6, the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection held a hearing to discuss the bill. As part of the hearing, the Subcommittee heard testimony from representatives from the CPSC, toy companies, manufacturers associations, health organizations, and consumer groups. The Subcommittee specifically addressed lead standards and third-party testing for products aimed at children under 12 and also took up the question of restricting CPSC officials from accepting gifts or travel expenses from companies or other regulatory organizations.

H.R. 4040 was reported out of Subcommittee for consideration by the full Energy and Commerce Committee on November 15, 2007. While I am not a member of this committee, I will continue to monitor its progress on this issue.

You may be interested to know that I am a cosponsor of H.Res.819, a resolution calling for the resignation of Consumer Product Safety Commission Chairwoman Nancy Nord. Chairwoman Nord has been insufficiently diligent in protecting consumers from unsafe products and has been obstructive of Congress' efforts to do so. H.Res.819 is currently pending before the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Please be assured that should H.R. 4040, H.Res.819 or any related legislation come to the floor of the House for a vote, I will keep your concerns in mind.

Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. Please feel free to contact me again should you have any additional questions, comments, or concerns.


Harry E. Mitchell
Member of Congress"

So, we'll have to see what comes of this. Knowing the corruption and ineptitude of this congress I am sure nothing will come of it, as usual.

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