September 2, 2008 The Pump Handle

Last month, Congress passed and the President signed major legislation strengthening the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The Washington Post’s Annys Shin described it this way: The measure … represents the most significant expansion of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) since it was created in 1973. It also marks a fundamental shift in the federal […]

March 10, 2008 The Pump Handle

On Thursday, the Senate approved legislation that will boost funding for the Consumer Product Safety Commission, increase the agency’s enforcement power, and effectively ban lead in all children’s products. The House bill passed in December contained similar provisions, although that chamber raised the maximum fine for companies that fail to report product hazards immediately to […]

February 20, 2008 The Pump Handle

As the recent problems with tainted food, drugs, toys, and other consumer products have made clear, our regulatory system has a lot of holes in it. Part of the problem is the current reluctance of agency appointees to do anything that might burden the industries in question, but that’s not the whole story. It’s also […]

February 7, 2008 The Pump Handle 1Comment

We’ve written before about how the Consumer Product Safety Commission lacks both the authority and the will to come down hard on companies that keep their unsafe products on the market. Now, Public Citizen has tallied up the time that elapsed between the dates when the CPSC learned of several dangerous products and the dates […]

January 28, 2008 The Pump Handle 1Comment

UPDATED BELOW Annys Shin of the Washington Post has reported that Dr. Gail Charnley, a well-known corporate product defense expert, is the White House’s leading candidate for the chairmanship of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. We’ve written extensively here about this beleaguered agency. Finally, after the nation watched helplessly at the recall of millions of […]

January 10, 2008 The Pump Handle

Congress left town last month without passing legislation that would overhaul the Consumer Product Safety Commission, whose weakness has been apparent in recent problems with toys containing lead, dangerous magnets, and a chemical that metabolizes into the so-called date rape drug gamma hydroxy butyrate. They did pass a ban on industry-sponsored travel (after the Washington Post reported […]

January 4, 2008 The Pump Handle 2Comment

In all the rigmarole of the holiday season, you might not have heard about the consumer safety hazard associated with Christmas lights (or noticed the fine print warnings on their boxes). It’s no secret that lead is used in light strings’ polyvinyl chloride insulation to prevent deterioration and to guard against fire. But what is […]

December 4, 2007 The Pump Handle 2Comment

Elizabeth Williamson of the Washington Post has written powerful article on the failure of the regulatory system to ensure that amusement park “thrill” rides don’t kill or injure customers, primarily teenagers and children. She provides grisly detail on a topic we’ve talked about here before: the inability and/or unwillingness of the Consumer Product Safety Commission […]