Senate Backs Product Safety Crackdown

Sweeping changes in consumer laws
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 7, 2008 2:45 AM CST
Senate Backs Product Safety Crackdown
Nancy Nord, acting Chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, testifies on Capitol Hill before the Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on toy safety standards. The Senate Thursday passed sweeping reform of product safety regulations. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)   (Associated Press)

The Senate has passed a tough new product safety measure covering toys, household appliances and thousands of other products. It would ban lead in toys, increase civil penalties for hazardous products tenfold, enable more state regulation and create a database of dangerous items on the market. It also sets up a confrontation with the White House, which in the past has sided with manufacturers who oppose the bill, reports the Los Angeles Times.

"This bill is the most significant product safety reform measure in recent history," said a spokeswoman for the Consumer Federation of America. "Americans have been waiting for this solution to our broken product safety system." More than 400 products, including millions of dangerous Chinese-made toys, were recalled last year. Senators must now work out differences between their measure and a weaker House version. (Read more product safety stories.)

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