Monday October 29, 2012
CPSC Says Database Decision Changes LittleBy Sean Oberle
Publication of a court decision affirming a company’s request to keep its name out of the CPSIA database related to a particular report will not change CPSC’s mandate for to the system, the agency asserted October 24. The statement followed articles in The New York Times, Consumer Reports and The Consumerist blog (now owned by Consumer Reports publisher Consumers Union) of stories about the July decision in Maryland U.S. district court and only recently made public.
The decision called the agency’s actions “arbitrary and capricious” CPSC had sought to publish the report after getting, and agreeing with, medical information submitted by the company to support an assertion that the report was “materially misleading.” The decision is under appeal.
The case was sealed to protect the company pending the outcome (PSL, 10/12/11, p. 1). Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union and Public Citizen filed a motion to unseal the documents (PSL, 11/7/11, p. 1). Those groups now are among the appellants and are quoted as highly critical of the decision in the media reports. The highly-redacted decision is on The Consumerist’s website: consumermediallc.files.wordpress.com/2012/ 10/2012-10-22-decision-redacted.pdf.
CPSC’s statement, in full, is:
“With more than 11,000 reports of harm or potential harm publicly posted to date, the SaferProducts.gov consumer database continues to serve as a vital safety tool for use by parents, doctors, emergency responders, and consumers across the country to alert the public to potentially hazardous products.