In 1992 Paul H. Rubin of the Heritage Foundation published an article seething with the poisonous snake oil of ideological drivel:
Provisions of proposed legislation could be harmful to consumers. H.R.3642, for example, increases FDA’s powers to issue subpoenas, demand record-keeping and inspections, issue recalls and embargoes, and levy fines. All of these powers would lead to increased costs of doing business for firms regulated by the FDA, which would be passed on to consumers. But even more important, the threat of FDA intervention and the increased risk of loss of trade-secret protection would discourage firms from developing and marketing new products, denying these to American consumers who could be helped by them.
In 2008, a Democratically controlled Congress issued legislation of a nature decried by the likes of the Heritage Foundation so many years ago. Fortunately, this legislation was not vetoed by George Bush (this time). On August 14, 2008, President Bush signed into law the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (the “Act”). This legislation,sponsored by Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR), comes a year after last summer’s recalls of millions of toys.
And now the CPSC has had a chance to act on that legislation, but unfortunately too late for the parents of one child, who could have been saved had the CPSC taken steps to issue its own recalls earlier.
As reported in the Linglestown Gazette in Central Pennsylvania, the CPSC has issued a recall involving an infant bassinet.
Attention parents of infants – If you are using a “close-sleeper/bedside sleeper” bassinet made by Simplicity, be sure to check out the two links below to see if your model is the one that has caused the death of at least two infants:
* U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission press release (includes photo), dated Aug. 27, 2008
* Washington Post article, dated Aug. 29, 2008
Hopefully the next step Congress can take is to create a process whereby hedge funds can be prevented from stepping in and buying out companies in an attempt to evade legal and financial responsibility for companies and financial interests that create improperly designed products that kill, injure and maim consumers, particularly the most vulnerable members of our society. And the only chance that it will happen is for a strong Democratic majority to start rebuilding the legislative and regulatory infrastructure that was destroyed by the Republican Congress from 1994 to 2006. And there’s much work to be done to make it happen.
Update: I tend to be ever the optimist because I choose to be, but for a somewhat different analysis, Democracy Lover provides a refreshing (to me anyway) but cynical alternative view to the somewhat cheerful and hopeful view that I present here.