Nord Stepping Down As CPSC Chair. Nancy Nord, the acting chair of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, will step down from that position on June 1, handing the lame duck throne to fellow commissioner Thomas Moore. Nord plans to remain a commissioner until her term ends in 2012. Moore will remain acting chair until the Senate confirms a new commissioner to that seat. Confirmation hearings for Inez Moore Tenenbaum, President Obama’s pick for that role, have not yet been scheduled. [Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
There’s been a lot of talk lately about how the upcoming implementation of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). The law requires that all children’s products be tested for lead and has caused a major freak out amongst librarians (who don’t really want to test their books for lead, or ban children from the library) and thrift stores (who can’t afford to test used toys for lead). Apparently, according to consumer groups that support the bill, the CPSC is supposed to be monitoring this situation and adding exceptions as needed, but has been ignoring the issue. Now those groups are asking President Obama for a change of leadership within the CPSC. Read their letter inside.
Consumer Reports takes issue with some of the statements CPSC chairperson Nancy Nord said in a recent speech:
If pending legislation passes, the CPSC may make retailers test their wares, and make retailers legally responsible for the products they sell. CPSC chair Nancy Nord said yesterday at a press conference, “the ultimate responsibility at the end of the day to make sure that their products are safe and if they do not, we will take enforcement activity at the product sellers.”
A letter to the editor by CPSC chairperson Nancy was published in the Washington Post today. She feels that the Washington Post misrepresented the nature of several trips she took, trips which were paid for in full or in part by companies under her agency’s domain. Particularly, she got peeved about people saying how the CPSC has only one toy inspector.
CPSC head Nancy Nord took scores of trips paid for lobbyists representing companies under her regulatory scope, Washington Post reports. The trips include $11,000 in “gift travel” to China, paid for by a fireworks company. The Toy Industry Association paid for her train ticket, hotel, meals, and parking ticket to attend their toy convention in New York. Federal agencies are barred from taking gifts from industry groups with pending matters before them, but other top agencies are more strict about accepting gifts from companies under their domain. By some sort of magical coincidence, the travel records disclosure come at time Nord is facing calls for her resignation for disagreeing with the new changes and expansions Congress is considering for the CPSC.
Despite Democrats clamoring for her resignation, CPSC chair Nancy Nord says she’s staying put. Nord is a shill-bag. She couldn’t answer direct questions from Congress. She couldn’t even say “yes” when they asked her if the CPSC needed more money. Toss all the bums out and get some new ones in quick.
Nancy Nord fights back against those calling for her resignation with an open letter posted to the CPSC’s website. Go get ’em tiger. [CPSC]
It seems that more than a few people in Washington have had just about enough of Nancy Nord and her whole “No, don’t make my agency regulate the industry its supposed to regulate” thing. Nancy has come out against currently proposed legislation that would give the CPSC both more money and more power, because she says it would make consumers “less safe” by overwhelming her office with complaints about trivial stuff.
Nancy Nord thinks a new Senate bill that would increase the budget and power of the CPSC would overwhelm the agency and “put the American people at greater risk,” according to the Washington Post.
The Friends of Mel Foundation recalled 200,000 beaded bracelets contaminated with lead on news that a 9-year-old fell ill after putting the lead-ridden bracelet in his mouth. Proceeds from the bracelets generated over $1 million that went towards cancer research. From the Boston Globe:
Independent lab tests conducted on various bracelets by Massachusetts Materials Research Inc. showed that the multicolored beads in the Friends of Mel’s bracelets contain no lead but that the small silver-toned rings connecting the beads have a high lead content. The beads are from China and Turkey and the small rings are from China, Herskovitz said.
Parading before you today will be two familiar panels: The first will feature acting Consumer Product Safety Commission Chair Nancy Nord and Commissioner Thomas Moore, who skipped out of last week’s hearing for a dentists appointment. The second will be devoted solely to Mattel CEO Robert Eckert.
• The Commission wants the power to quickly codify voluntary industry standards, which are currently unenforceable by the CPSC.