At the request of Commissioner Anne Northup, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has postponed today’s vote on the final rule establishing the Publicly Available Consumer Product Safety Information Database. (CPSC website)
The 2008 law, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, mandated this new reporting device with the idea that members of the public could gain useful information about products they might be concerned about. Unfortunately, the current proposal invites the gaming of the database to the detriment of manufacturers of safe products, even to the point of expanding the definition of “consumer” — those who can register an online complaint — to include activist groups and trial lawyers. (See our earlier post, “CPSIA Update: Why Would You Let Bad Info into Public Database?”)
Commissioners Northup and Nancy Nord submitted an alternative, less disruptive proposal, which you can read here. The additional week does allow time for more public comment, which Commissioner Nord is soliciting at Commissioner_Nord@cpsc.gov.
The Energy and Commerce Committee will have many, many, many assignments it will want to undertake in the 112th Congress. Oversight of the CPSC and the implementation of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act should certainly be high on the committee’s list.
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