In yet another display of partisanship and, frankly, SCIENTIFIC IGNORANCE, the three Democratic CPSC Commissioners issued a harshly-worded warning over passage of the pending CPSIA Amendment (ECADA). While I dimly recall Inez Tenenbaum pledging early in her CPSC career to be a force for cohesion on the Commission, all pretenses of bipartisanship have been dropped by the Dem Commissioners nowadays. This latest letter-in-tandem mocks the notion that the Commission is capable of working together. The letter further casts doubt on the Dem Commissioners' ability to process scientific information or manage scientific processes.
These people control a federal regulatory agency. This is YOUR government at work.
The Dem letter came on the same day as the latest volley from the desperate consumer groups (CFA, Consumers Union and the like). As in their past missives, this letter twists facts, avoids truths and presents the fully misleading impression that the Republican majority are in the process of trashing the very structure of safety administration in this country. Be still my heart, it's not true, unfortunately. You'd never know it from them.
Perhaps the two letters have the same author, who knows? Anyhow, here's a few comments on the Commissioners' letter:
a. "The current draft of ECADA fails to adequately protect the health and safety of American children. . . ."
RW - The Commissioners do not back up this outrageous assertion but notice that it lingers in the air. The three Dems on the Commission, including the Chairman, are accusing the Republicans of harming children. Pretty serious charge, right?
So . . . can they show with injury statistics or case histories that the extremely modest changes being made by ECADA are linked to injuries? No, they CANNOT.
So . . . can they prove that the presence of lead-in-substrate at ANY level has EVER been associated with childhood injury from interaction with children's products? If they could, that might provide support for the purported NEED for the standards they so staunchly defend. No, they CANNOT.
I don't know how we can accept this kind of behavior from people appointed to positions so high up in our government.
b. "ECADA Rolls Back Marketplace Progress on Lead".
RW - Note the cute wording of this warning. You have to read it carefully to get the point they are making. They say that this amendment changes how the marketplace will deal with lead. Yes, Adler and Co. are talking about "dosing" again. Remember the howler they sent in April accusing manufacturers of a desire to increase the "doses" of lead inflicted on children. Frankly, that offense has never been remedied. At the time, people associated with the House Subcommittee mumbled about calling the three Commissioners in to defend their ridiculous and slanderous accusation but it never happened. Here it is, again.
It's an outrage.
The Dem Commissioners go further into obfuscation-land when they refer to a "recent Commission hearing" on the feasibility of implementing the 100 ppm lead-in-substrate standard. Ummm, I was on the third panel in that hearing, I gave testimony, too. The Commissioners tell about SGS testimony that out of nearly 90,000 tests performed by the lab, an inspiring 96.29% of metal components were under 100 ppm. Cool! Sounds like a slam dunk, right? Well, perhaps the selective memory Dem Commissioners may recall that I gave SIMILAR testimony, indicating that our company data shows that 1.7% of our tests (46 out of 2701 recent passing tests) fall between 100 ppm and 300 ppm lead-in-substrate BUT we cannot predict which parts or products will be affected. In other words, it's random and uncontrollable. I also gave this same testimony in writing as part of my comments on the 100 ppm standard. This has very dramatic implications for our costs and the predictability (financability) of our results - the Commissioners heard me and they know this. You'd never know it, however.
It's worth noting further that the CPSC requested my presence at this hearing. They called me and asked me to spend my own money to fly to Washington to testify on this subject. Do you think this means they wanted to hear what I had to say . . . so they could ignore it???
The Commissioners go on to shriek about the "large exception" for metal component parts in "outdoor recreational products". Whoa, scary - right?! In fact, maybe not. If the Dems were paying attention, they would realize that ECADA simply codifies THEIR OWN WORK - the standards applied to metal are from a stay the Commission itself approved for metal components in February 2009. Perhaps the Commissioners should read this Federal Register notice to bone up. I guess having approved literally thousands of pages of rules and whatnot relating to the CPSIA, the Commissioners can be forgiven for not remembering their own work. Ouch!
The Dem Commissioners may be on a mission and play a bit fast and loose with truth and accuracy . . . but when they say "ECADA would allow more lead back into our children's products", it must be considered a LIE made by knowing people. There is ABSOLUTELY no support for this statement and their pathetic arguments are paper-thin and obviously fallacious. Perhaps they think we are all stupes and will believe whatever they put on paper.
THESE PEOPLE ARE PUBLIC SERVANTS. THIS STANDARD OF SERVICE IS UNACCEPTABLE. IF CONGRESS WON'T FIX THE LAW, THEY SHOULD CONSIDER DE-FUNDING THIS AGENCY UNTIL IT STOPS ITS ROGUE ACTIVITIES. MR. WAXMAN ISN'T CALLING THE SHOTS ANYMORE. MR. BOEHNER, PLEASE HELP ME.
c. The Dems protest the curtail of mandatory testing, without acknowledging that the standards will still be in force and enforceable. How will manufacturers know they are in compliance? Duh, they will test. The Dems know this. Still, they intone: "Unfortunately, this proposal will take us back to the days of not knowing what is in a children's product - and discovering dangers only after untold numbers of children are exposed to risks of harm". Perhaps, perhaps. But don't you think we should evaluate this claim of the prospect of future loss by looking at past losses? Oh no, can't do that because the advocates cannot produce any victims. Hmmm.
Perhaps more disgusting is to receive a letter dated May 25, 2011 with this little sugar plum in it: "We have previously acknowledged the need for some targeted relief from the third-party testing requirements of CPSIA for small crafters and small businesses . . . ." These guys are so great, they really FEEL our pain. Sadly, busy as they are, they have not gotten around to developing this relief since the law passed in August 2008, three years ago. That said, I bet it's on their "to do" list!
d. The Dems point to a provision in ECADA that they allege "would allow child care centers to provide extremely old cribs that do not meet the new safety standard for our most vulnerable population". Again, the words used are intended to cloak the Commissioners in white and place black hats on Republicans pushing for ECADA. In my view, that's very very misleading. As far as I can tell, they refer to Section 5(b) of ECADA. Why not read it yourself and see if you agree with them or with me?
e. It's late at night and I have a flight in a few hours, so I am not going to waste much time on their absurd protestations on the public database. Blah blah blah. Apparently, they deem it essential that you be able to read stuff like this:
Gas Grate Cleaner 36 yo man thought that he was making iced tea and poured powder from the container of Elco Gas Grate Cleaner. when he tasted it he realized that it was not tea, felt burning in his throat and went to the hospital emergency room. he was admitted overnight and discharged in the morning.
NOTE TO SELF: Don't make tea out of grate cleaner.
Happy Harvest Canned goods Happy Harvest canned goods which contain corn, peas, mixed vegetables sold by Aldi have a can design that is not stackable. Both sides of the can are made equally making it impossible to stack on top of eachother such as other cans are able to do. . . . When one can is moved where they are stacked closely to each other, it creates a chain reaction and most of the cans fall. This was the case today when my wife was retrieving something from the pantry and my fifteen month old daughter followed her in. When my wife moved an item, two Happy Harvest cans fell and one of them struck my daughter on her head causing a big bump. It could have been a lot worse. This is very unsafe as the stacking of cans become unstable and can fall at anytime. My daughter was the victim of this poor can design. [Emphasis added]
NOTE TO CPSC: A mandatory safety standard for can stacking is long overdue. Who knows how many 15 month old toddlers are at risk because you are sleeping on the job - get to work!
RW - My sources tell me that the Dems are not going to support ECADA - none of them. This is utterly irrational but is also consistent with their past practice of travelling in a pack and blindly supporting the consumer groups. You, the taxpayer, are the big loser at the Dems' hand. They have heard you . . . for three years-plus . . . and just DON'T CARE. They just DON'T CARE about your petty problems, and more profoundly, are not curious or even mildly interested in rational, data-driven criticisms of the basis of the CPSIA. Anything that reflects badly on their consumer group allies may safely be ignored.
If the Dems stand their ground and don't pass ECADA with bipartisan support, there is a distinct possibility that the Senate will not act at all on this CPSIA amendment. In other words, this terrible law is likely to stand pat without amendment.
That's your government at work. I am going to give some more money to Republicans myself.