Washington, DC— As the Energy and Commerce Committee begins consideration of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) and the role of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Congressmen Henry A. Waxman and G. K. Butterfield circulated to committee members the results of a new national telephone poll conducted by Consumers Union.
“This poll underscores the tremendous support in the public for protecting our children from dangerous products,” said Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Waxman. “As our Committee begins to hold hearings on the work of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, I hope that we will keep these important findings in mind and place our priorities on putting safety first.”
The survey found very strong consumer support for a strong federal role in requiring the testing of children’s products, in providing public access to consumer safety complaint information, and in keeping unsafe products out of the marketplace.
The Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade will hold a hearing on Thursday, February 17 to review CPSIA and CPSC’s resources. Witnesses will include CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum and CPSC Commissioner Anne Northup.
Specifically, the survey found:
- 95% of those surveyed agree that the federal government should require testing by manufacturers of children’s products like jewelry, pacifiers, and toys to ensure they do not contain any harmful substances.
- 94% of those surveyed agree that the federal government should require testing by manufacturers of products like baby carriers or slings, cribs, and strollers to ensure their safety.
- 87%of those surveyed were interested in the ability to find out if another consumer experienced a safety hazard with a consumer product.
- 82% of those surveyed were interested in the ability to access a database maintained by the government where they can report and search safety problems with consumer products.
- 91% of those surveyed agree that the federal government should set safety standards for all children’s products.
Rep. Butterfield, Ranking Member of the Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade Subcommittee, said despite strong public support, the hearing comes amid efforts to limit CPSC’s ability to protect consumers. As part of the debate over the FY2011 budget, Rep. Mike Pompeo has offered three amendments aimed at limiting the power of CPSC to protect consumers.
Rep. Pompeo would bar CPSC from moving forward with creating a public, searchable database of consumer complaints. Rep. Pompeo is also seeking to eliminate provisions that require manufacturers to have their products tested at accredited, independent third-party facilities to ensure toys are designed safely and without harmful chemicals. The third amendment would eliminate the requirement for testing to ensure ongoing compliance with product safety standards.
“We cannot go back on our promise to Americans that children will not be the front line for testing the safety of toys and consumer products,” Rep. Butterfield said.
The complete survey results can be accessed here.
Press release, 2/16/11