Welcome to my blog “Safety and Common Sense…You Can Actually Have Both.” By way of introduction, I am one of the new Commissioners appointed by President Obama to fill a Republican slot on the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). I was honored to receive this appointment because the CPSC has a strong history of protecting consumers from unreasonable risk, illustrated by the 30 percent decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years. We are a small agency, but we have an amazingly talented staff that provides excellent research and analysis, advice to manufacturers, enforcement of our standards, and able assistance in doing our number one job – protecting you and your children.
Last year Congress passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act with good intentions to broaden the CPSC’s ability to protect our families. However, as the CPSC has begun to implement and enforce the law, it has become clear that parts of the law lack flexibility and require costly changes even when the products in question pose no risk to a child. These unintended consequences are negatively impacting the American marketplace. Specifically they are raising prices, reducing consumer choice, and threatening domestic jobs without improving safety. Since I came to the CPSC, I have heard from manufacturers and small businesses about their difficulties in complying with the law’s requirements.
I am starting this blog so that I can share my views with you in a forum where you can respond and tell me how the CPSIA and other aspects of the agency’s work affect you. When I was in Congress, my constituents often wondered whether federal agencies stayed in contact with those who were impacted by their regulations and policies. Now that I am part of this important federal agency, I want to be sure that every-day Americans can have their voices heard. I hope you will share any and all of your experiences, thoughts, or comments so that we can stop the unintended consequences of the CPSIA and other instances of overregulation that do not reduce risk.
4 months ago