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Policy

Better Consumer Product Data Sought

by David J. Hanson
August 24, 2009 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 87, ISSUE 34

The Consumer Product Safety Commission is not getting the information it needs to identify potentially unsafe imported products, according to a Government Accountability Office report (GAO-09-803). The growing volume of products imported into the U.S. has put a strain on CPSC’s effectiveness in ensuring product safety, GAO said, but the agency has not developed a long-range plan or set key goals to increase its capabilities. GAO pointed to USDA and FDA as examples of agencies that do a better job of getting imported product information from U.S. Customs & Border Protection, even though CPSC has the authority to obtain such information. The need for improvement at CPSC is made more urgent by the agency’s expanded testing and monitoring responsibilities under the 2008 Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act.

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