Showing posts with label Letter to the Editor. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Letter to the Editor. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

CPSIA - Northup Lashes Out at Majority for Disregarding Executive Order

Letters to the Editor
Wall Street Journal
July 26, 2011

CPSC Should Follow Obama's Policy

As one of the minority (Republican) commissioners on the Consumer Product Safety Commission who voted against finding that it was technologically feasible to lower the lead content in all children's products from 99.97% lead free to 99.99% lead free, I appreciate your July 20 editorial "Toying with Deregulation." You accurately paint a grim picture of the commission's disregard for President Obama's appeal that regulatory agencies promote "economic growth, innovation, competitiveness and job creation." But you omit the even more disturbing evidence that the commission majority twisted the language of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act and ignored the evidence before it in order to reach a predetermined outcome.

As the majority proved with its 100 ppm vote, it will take much more than an executive order to stop an agency bent on imposing its radical agenda without regard for the economic consequences. See

Anne M. Northup

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

CPSIA - Nancy Nord Points Out the Unpleasant Truth

In the June 1st edition of the WSJ, Nancy Nord was featured in a Letter to the Editor about over-regulation.   Commissioner Nord has had a front seat for the baloney "effort" by the Obama Dems to "reduce" burdensome regulation and to eliminate "uneconomic" regulations.  As Ms. Nord points out, the CPSC has been an oasis of normalcy during this period of regulatory introspection.  Certainly no such deregulation project has been started at the CPSC.  As she notes, she has lost vote after vote requesting cost-benefit analysis for CPSIA and other regulations - all on a party line vote.  Yes, the Dems are voting AGAINST a cost-benefit analysis again and again on the CPSC Commission.

It's your money they are spending.  It's your business that is crumpling under the burden of their over-reaching laws and rules.  There's nothing we can do to stop it - except to vote ALL Democrats out of office, including the big guy.  Since they won't play ball, this is their just desserts.

Here is Nancy Nord's letter:

Administration Isn't Serious About Regulatory Reform

I read with interest Cass Sunstein's assertion that federal agencies are working to eliminate excessively burdensome regulations ("21st-Century Regulation: An Update on the President's Reforms," op-ed, May 26). As a commissioner at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), I can attest that no such activity is happening at this agency. We certainly have not combed through our regulations to eliminate those that are "out-of-date, unnecessary, [or] excessively burdensome," as he suggests is being done across the government. Instead, we are regulating at an unprecedented pace and have pretty much abandoned any efforts to weigh societal benefits from regulations with the costs imposed on the public.

The CPSC is an independent regulatory agency and therefore, technically, it is not required to follow the president's executive orders such as the one Mr. Sunstein refers to mandating a "cost-effective approach to regulation." In past administrations, the agency has always followed the lead of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, which Mr. Sunstein heads, in such matters. However, under this administration, we have ignored the recent direction to look for and eliminate burdensome regulations. We are just too busy putting out new regulations.

I have repeatedly requested that the agency do cost-benefit analysis on our various regulations only to have that request voted down by my fellow commissioners on a party-line basis. Consequently, we are issuing regulations without having done the necessary work to understand the impact of our actions both on those being regulated and on the public. As a result we have imposed regulatory burdens and caused people to lose their livelihoods without a real payback in terms of safety. At the CPSC, common sense regulation doesn't even get a head-nod.

Nancy A. Nord
Consumer Product Safety Commission

Monday, January 4, 2010

CPSIA - Mike Green Attacks Anne Northup in WSJ

In Thursday's Wall Street Journal, Mike Green of the notorious Center for Environmental Health, a known Proposition 65 bounty hunter, attacked Commissioner Anne Northup for her criticisms of the CPSIA:

"Anne Northup notes that the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) passed with bipartisan support, so it is surprising to see her partisan attack on this children's health protection law ("There Is No Joy in Toyland," op-ed, Dec. 24). She states that lead in metals used in children's products is not "bioavailable," and thus cannot harm children. This will come as a shock to Juanna Graham, whose son died after swallowing a metal charm. At least eight other children have suffered lead poisoning after sucking on or swallowing small lead pieces from toys or jewelry.

Ms. Northup also errs in stating that lead is not absorbable in materials other than paint. Over the past five years we have found high levels of lead in numerous vinyl children's items, including baby bibs, lunchboxes, rain gear, toys, and others. Independent lab tests showed that lead in these products can wipe off and expose children to unsafe levels of lead.

Michael Green
Executive Director
Center for Environmental Health
Oakland, Calif."

This is nonsense, of course. It is very important to leave comments on this misleading and manipulative letter at the website. If you click at the link above, you will see a block to leave a comment. I left one and you should, too.

Thank you.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

CPSIA - WSJ Letter to the Editor on Our Favorite Law

AUGUST 26, 2009
6:33 P.M. ET

Refusal to Fix Act Hardly Inspires Trust

Congress's refusal to fix the Consumer Product Safety and Improvement Act ("Consumer Product Destruction," Review & Outlook, Aug. 12) is, if possible, even more irresponsible than the original legislation. Intended to protect children from lead paint in Chinese toys, the law has resulted in both huge losses and new regulatory costs on industries ranging from motorcycle and ATV manufacturers to toy makers and retailers. Many of these products pose little or no risk of lead-poisoning to children—or anyone else. Yet faced with a real problem—one it created and which it alone has the power to undo—Congress does nothing.

This should serve as a warning to the rest of us as lawmakers seek to ram through massive climate and health-care legislation. The CPSC shows that the unintended consequences of crisis-driven lawmaking are often worse than the original problem—if it was a problem. Don't count on Congress to correct its mistakes.

Eric Havill
Branchport, N.Y.

Monday, August 10, 2009

CPSIA - Battle Creek Examiner Letter to the Editor

Last week the Battle Creek Examiner published an article entitled "Protecting kids: Safety focus of new product label rules". The BCE today published my response as a Letter to the Editor as follows:

"Your article "Protecting Kids" (August 4) promotes the mistaken notion that the tracking labels provision of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act will improve children's product safety. The provision, intended to make recalls "more effective," is unlikely to have the desired effect except for high value, heirloom-type products with long life like cribs and bassinets. However, the expense and liability risk borne by companies remaining in the children's market will have a terrible effect on product availability. We will all lose from the silent erosion of critical markets like apparel and school supplies.

The costs imposed by the new law will hurt all of us by stunting innovation and slowing down small business formation. The gigantic new penalties you herald already led to many resale shops closing their children's departments. Will the residents of Battle Creek benefit next winter when warm clothing is not available to those in need? These effects are called "unintended consequences" in the press, but they are simply the direct result of a law that needs to be fixed.

It's time for Congress to address the obvious problems with the law. Changes need to be made to the law to allow the CPSC to assess the relative safety risk of products. This will protect everyone while permitting companies to do business.

Richard Woldenberg
Learning Resources Inc."

Monday, January 26, 2009

WSJ Letters to the Editor 1-21-09

New Lead Law May Have Toxic Consequences for Jobs

Thanks for putting the editorial spotlight on the new lead in children's product legislation passed by Congress last year ("Pelosi's Toy Story," Review & Outlook, Jan. 14). The sad part is that adequate federal law existed to stop the import of Chinese toys containing lead, the importers simply did not obey existing law.

Now comes the silly part. The prior law was based on toxicology (how much lead can be extracted from the children's product through use or abuse). The new law only considers total lead in the product. And the maximum allowable lead content starts at a very low level, and keeps getting smaller in future years. Many metals, metal alloys, and a wide range of other materials are perfectly safe and comply with the earlier law, but will become "banned hazardous materials" on February 10.

The new legislation covers "all products designed for children under 12 years old." The crowning glory is that all children's products now need to be tested for lead content. By the way, did you catch that this means all children's products in existence on February 10, not just children's products manufactured after that date?

Put it all together and we have a spectacular example of incompetence. For example, elementary schools are designed for children under 12 years old. Does this mean that everything inside the school, and all of the construction materials used to build the school, need to be tested for total lead content by February 10? What about library books? The Consumer Product Safety Commission can make exclusions, but the law is very broadly written, allows no phase-in time, nor does it grandfather previously made products.

The law says "The Commission may, by regulation, exclude a specific product or material from the prohibition . . . if the Commission, after notice and a hearing, determines on the basis of the best-available, objective, peer-reviewed, scientific evidence that lead in such product or material will neither -- result in the absorption of any [my emphasis] lead into the human body . . . [OR\][or] have any other adverse impact on public health or safety." This doesn't seem to give the CPSC much wiggle room.

All products and materials that exceed the total lead content will need to be disposed (a few examples of these banned hazardous materials include bicycles, desks, ballpoint pens, chairs, computers, and HVAC systems).

It will indeed be an early (and very long) summer break for our children.

Jeff Green
Midlothian, Va.

Thank you for highlighting this issue. We are a small Washington, D.C.-based manufacturer (probably the only one) that will likely be compelled to close our doors because of this legislation. The minimum cost for testing our products -- harmful items such as headbands -- would be triple our gross revenue. As a result of this law, only the Wal-Marts of the world will continue to exist. The opportunity for individual expression or individual initiative will be permanently quashed.

Let's hope that Congress can do the right thing before hundreds of thousands (or millions) of quite small businesses go under as a result of this crushing and utterly unrealistic legislation.

Marc Chafetz