The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has defended itself against accusation leveled against them by Consumer Reports in its recent article entitled: "Hazard in aisle 5."
In its article, Consumer Reports claims the U.S. marketplace is unsafe and cites finding 48 consumer products that violated CPSC safety standards.
According to CPSC, however, at least 34 of the products listed by Consumer Reports do not violate any CPSC standard. Two additional products had already been recalled by the agency before the Consumer Reports article was published. CPSC is continuing its efforts to locate and evaluate the remaining products identified by Consumer Reports.
CPSC also called false Consumer Reports' claim that the number of annual CPSC recalls is declining. In fact, says CPSC, recalls are up from 279 in 2003 to 356 in 2004 -- higher than the yearly average for recalls over the last decade. In 2004 CPSC recalled more consumer products than in any prior year in its 30 year history.
CPSC also states that it is using its enforcement powers to make sure firms give consumer safety top priority. In Fiscal Year 2004, CPSC imposed $4.2 million in civil penalties. This is the third highest annual civil penalty amount in the agency's 30 year history. CPSC worked cooperatively with the Department of Justice and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to send several individuals to prison for violating federal safety standards.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from more than 15,000 types of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, call CPSC's hotline at (800) 638-2772 or visit http://www.cpsc.gov.