From The Washington Post, “Publicly accessible product safety database hits House roadblock“:
As part of the spending bill that passed the House on Feb. 19, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) won support for a measure to withhold money to implement the system, which is set to launch March 11. The database, which was welcomed by consumer advocates, would make public thousands of complaints received by the Consumer Product Safety Commission each year about safety problems with products, from table lamps to baby strollers.
Pompeo, backed by groups representing manufacturers, said the database would be filled with fictitious or inaccurate claims and place new financial burdens on U.S. businesses.
“This will drive jobs overseas,” Pompeo said during floor debate on his amendment. “It will increase the cost for manufacturers and consumers.”
The New York Times, the most irresponsible media outlet in uncritically cheering on the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, fumed editorialy about manufacturers’ objections, claiming, “The concern about frivolous lawsuits is a predictable canard. The database was designed with safeguards to avoid bogus claims and keep lawyers from trawling for clients.” Right, because no trial lawyer would ever gin up bogus product complaints to shake down manufacturers.
And even if Congress intended the database to operate with safeguards, the Consumer Product Safety Commission ignored congressional intent and instead wrote a rule favored by the (often indistinguishable) litigation interests and “consumer advocates.” As CPSC Commissioner Anne Northup testified in the House recently: