Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Part 117: Killers from China -- President Bush is "soft on lead"

Bush is ’soft on lead’ - The Carpetbagger Report
Efforts to crack down on lead paint thwarted by China, Bush Administration
Killers from China

Nice. The very agency whose job is to protect consumers really just protects business. This is a great one, where the testing of kids' lunchboxes for lead levels was being undertaken:
After a handful of tests, they increased the number of times they swiped each bag, again and again on the same spot, resulting in lower average results.
Well, duh, they rubbed all the lead off the first few times.

It's absolutely appalling how much this administration hates itself (the government is the problem, they say. Let the market decide what's best).

The former head of the Consumer Products Safety Commission, Ann Brown, who worked for both President Clinton and Bush (1994-2001), has this to say:
“Today, I would say there should be an outright ban in any lead in any toy product,” she said in a telephone interview. “If I were at CPSC now, I’d say that trying to recall (tainted products) is like picking sand out of the beach — it’s just not possible.”
So, like FEMA, Bush put in place industry hacks to head the department when Ann Brown left. Brown had tried to put testing in place prior to toys hitting the market, to no avail.
Before leaving her post, Brown unsuccessfully pushed for pre-market testing of children’s products. The idea largely died when the Bush administration took over, said Brown, who's working with Sen. Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. The CPSC has only 100 field inspectors to police problems with all products sold to more than 301 million Americans. None of the inspectors are stationed in China or anywhere else abroad.
More interesting stats on toys "Made in China" --
  • Of the 400 or so product recalls this year, about 60 percent involve products made in China, according to commission statistics.
  • 80 percent of all children's toys are made in China
  • Lead has been banned here in the US for decades. The two main culprits: Leaded gasoline and lead paint. But we let China use it in goods sold to us.