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Arizona PIRG applauds U.S. Senate Passage of Comprehensive Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Reform

Urges Swift Negotiations With U.S. House
For Immediate Release

The Arizona Public Interest Research Group (Arizona PIRG), a leading Arizona consumer group that has published annual toy safety surveys for over twenty years, today applauded U.S. Senate passage of comprehensive legislation to “give the CPSC the money and authority it needs to protect the public from dangerous products.”

“We praise the U.S. Senate for soundly defeating several weakening amendments requested by manufacturers of the toys and products that made 2007 the year of the recall,” said Diane E. Brown, Executive Director of Arizona PIRG.

The bi-partisan U.S. Senate CPSC Reform Act, S. 2663, now heads to a conference committee to reconcile differences with the companion legislation HR 4040 passed by the U.S. House in December.

Among the highlights of the U.S. Senate bill:

  • Increases the CPSC budget over 7 years from last year’s $64 million to $155 million in 2015 and gives State Attorneys General broad authority to enforce the federal law.
  • Establishes a public right-to-know database of complaints and injury reports at the CPSC.
  • Gives the CPSC broader jurisdiction over toys not currently regulated, including the dangerous small magnets that have killed one little boy and sent dozens of others to emergency surgery.
  • Bans toxic lead in children’s products except at trace levels.
  • Protects product safety whistleblowers from retaliation.

“While several of these provisions make the U.S. Senate bill more comprehensive than the U.S. House bill, we intend to make sure that the final law signed by the President includes the best elements of each bill, including the House’s better definition of children’s product as intended for children under 12, not 7 years of age,” added Brown.

Among the organizations joining Arizona PIRG in support of the U.S. Senate bill are Consumers Union, Consumer Federation of America, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Union of Concerned Scientists.

“If we are going to protect children and the public from the growing number of shoddy, imported toys coming onto our shores and into our stores each year, we need a bigger, better CPSC backstopped by 50 State Attorneys General,” Brown concluded. “It is time for Congress and the President to finish the job of tightening our toy safety net.”

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