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Report | PennPIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

PIRG’s Trouble In Toyland

The recall of 45 million toys and other children’s products in 2007 and continued recalls in 2008 reminded Americans that no government agency tests toys before they are put on the shelves. Specifically, the wave of recalls focused attention on the fact that the agency charged with protecting Americans from unsafe products—the Consumer Product Safety Commission—is a little agency with a very big job to do. Congress responded by passing the first major overhaul of the CPSC since it was established during the Nixon Administration, when it passed the landmark Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) in August 2008.1 In addition to expanding the agency’s budget, Congress gave the CPSC more tools to hold corporate wrongdoers accountable and speed recalls, moved toward banning toxic lead and phthalates except in trace amounts and greatly improved import surveillance.

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