December 1, 2010 – Bloomberg News/Provident Business News article reports on the CPSC continued tough talk about the ambiguous CPSIA legislation. The first half of the article is listed below and the complete article is found at http://www.pbn.com/Poisonous-paper-clips-escalate-dispute-at-US-consumer-agency-,54095.
Poisonous paper clips escalate dispute at U.S. consumer agency
By Jeff Plungis
WASHINGTON – Republicans on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission have seized on a symbol of what they call a regulatory agency run amok: poisonous paper clips.
In a 3-2 vote along party lines in September, the commission ruled that staples, rulers, toothpicks and paper clips found in science kits were subject to testing for lead. The panel’s two Republicans sided with makers of the kits in a failed attempt to win an exemption from rules aimed at detecting the toxic metal in products used by children.
“What started out as an exercise to be helpful devolved into a regulatory quagmire,” Republican Commissioner Nancy Nord said at the hearing, referring to the science sets. “What we are left with is a rule that leads to nonsensical results.”
Three years after the discovery of lead paint in toys from China, which prompted legislation expanding the safety agency’s powers, the commission is riven by partisan debate about whether it’s engaging in regulatory overkill or protecting consumers after failing to do so during the Bush administration.
The board has gone after Mattel Inc. for hazardous toys and Swedish furniture chain IKEA for risky window blinds while coaxing retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to recall dangerous cribs.
The CPSC “had a reputation of not being swift or hard on corporations that didn’t comply,” Chairman Inez Tenenbaum, who was appointed by President Barack Obama in June 2009, said in an interview. “That’s certainly not the reputation it has now. We have a new law. We’re going to enforce that law….” See the complete article at http://www.pbn.com/Poisonous-paper-clips-escalate-dispute-at-US-consumer-agency-,54095.