The Consumer Product Safety Commission’s public database, SaferProducts.gov, which allows people to report unsafe products and search recalls and safety reports, has only been around since March. And already the House Appropriations Committee has moved to cut funding for the project.
The bipartisan Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008 directed the CPSC to design a publicly accessible database that would provide a mechanism for reporting harms associated with consumer products and researching risks associated with particular products. Now that database is in danger of disappearing.
“The legislation passed by the Appropriations Committee today takes a giant step backwards for consumer safety protections,” explains Ami Gadhia, policy counsel for Consumers Union. “The CPSC public database provides access to critical safety information that every consumer has the right to while helping the CPSC identify trends in product hazards much more efficiently. Instead of increasing transparency in the marketplace, this provision to cut funding for the database only creates more questions for consumers when they go to the store. To shut this database down now, after resources have been already spent on design and implementation, not only would waste limited resources but put more American families at risk.”
The full House of Representatives is expected to vote on the legislation in the coming weeks.