CPSC Faces Challenges in Handling Risks from New Products

on 01/07/2013

The Consumer Product Safety Commission is the main authority responsible for the identification and assessment of consumer product risks, and regulation of product safety.  However, the agency does face several challenges when it attempts to react and respond to new product risks.  That is the deduction made by the Government Accountability Office, which recently analyzed the CPSC’s ability to react to consumer product risks.

The Government Accountability Office report raised specific questions about the manner in which the Consumer Product Safety Commission monitors information about new products and risks.  For instance, currently, the agency makes use of market surveillance activities, and also makes use of the formal agreements that it has in place with foreign agencies.  However, the Consumer Product Safety Commission is restricted by the amount of nonpublic information that it can allow these foreign agencies to disclose. 

Because of this, the Consumer Product Safety Commission is not able to complete information-sharing agreements with these foreign agencies. 

Many of the consumer product recalls that are monitored by Houston product liability lawyers involve consumer products including toys, and children's products that are manufactured overseas, in countries like China. Consider the fact that a growing number of products that are used by American consumers are manufactured overseas, and you understand how dangerous it is that the Consumer Product Safety Commission does not have complete and specific information-sharing agreements in place with agencies overseas.

These special challenges also impede the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s ability to identify potential defects in new products.  The agency may not be able to warn consumers in time, and there may be a serious risk of injury to consumers.  

Tags: Defective Consumer Products, Consumer Product Mass Torts

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