March 07, 2008

CARDIN PRAISES SENATE PASSAGE OF CONSUMER PRODUCTS SAFETY ACT

Two Cardin Amendments on Safety and Recalls Included in Bill

Washington, DC - The Senate today passed the Consumer Product Safety Commission Act , including two amendments sponsored by U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD). This important legislation will expand the Consumer Product Safety Commission's (CPSC) ability to keeping all Americans safe from toxic and dangerous products.

"Playing with a favorite toy should not be hazardous to a child's life.  It is essential that Congress and every parent and grandparent be confident that the products they bring into their home are safe," said Senator Cardin .  "With adequate resources, the CPSC should do a better job providing the American public with the tools and information they need to keep their family from harmful products. There is no margin for error when it comes to our children."

Senator Cardin's first amendment requires the CPSC to develop training standards for the safety inspectors and technical personnel. A second provision, co-sponsored with Senator Barack Obama (D-IL), standardizes recall information on products deemed unsafe - including where the products were sold, where they were produced, and how consumers can obtain a refund or replacement.

"Minimizing the number of unsafe toys and products in our stores and our homes begins with adequate safety inspections by well-trained safety inspectors.  When recalls become necessary, detailed, public information is essential," said Senator Cardin. "Too often, public recall notices do not provide enough information about unsafe products to be any help to the consumer. That will now change."

The bipartisan Consumer Product Safety Commission Act was introduced by Senators Mark Pryor (D-AR) and Ted Stevens (R-AK). The legislation would strengthen CPSC resources and effectiveness by increasing funding, requiring the hiring of more staff, and streamlining product safety rulemaking procedures. It also would protect children by banning lead in children's products, requiring third-party testing and certification, and mandating label tracking for children's products.

The bill would prevent deadly imports by improving information sharing among all levels of law enforcement agencies, increasing the numbers of CPSC employees at U.S. ports, requiring safety certification of products, and banning the importation of recalled products. It also provides greater penalties for violators, more resources for law enforcement, and enhances recall effectiveness.