There once was a time, if I remember correctly, when the corporate apologists Bush puts in charge of regulating the very industries they serve would at least offer lip service to the public interest. Today, some don’t even bother to pretend.
WASHINGTON, Oct. 29 — The top official for consumer product safety has asked Congress in recent days to reject legislation that would strengthen the agency that polices thousands of consumer goods, from toys to tools.
On the eve of an important Senate committee meeting to consider the legislation, Nancy A. Nord, the acting chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, has asked lawmakers in two letters not to approve the bulk of legislation that would increase the agency’s authority, double its budget and sharply increase its dwindling staff.
Ms. Nord opposes provisions that would increase the maximum penalties for safety violations and make it easier for the government to make public reports of faulty products, protect industry whistleblowers and prosecute executives of companies that willfully violate laws.
The measure is an effort to buttress an agency that has been under siege because of a raft of tainted and dangerous products manufactured both domestically and abroad. In the last two months alone, more than 13 million toys have been recalled after tests indicated lead levels of almost 200 times the safety ceiling.