The Bush CPSC: traveling on the toymakers' dime
Perhaps there is a reason why President' Bush's appointed head of the CPSC has been reluctant to strengthen the Consumer Product Safety Commission. She testified last week before Congress that her agency did not want Congress to put back in place the resources that had been stripped from the Agency over the past decade. It was always known that Nancy Nord shared her boss's disdain for regulation, but what wasn't known at the time of her testimony is that she had been accepting favors from the toy making industry. The Washington Post reported that she and her predecessor, Hal Stratton, had accepted "gift travel" from these businesses with products under examination by the CPSC, that included trips to China, Spain and a golf resort on Hilton Head. Apparently she wasn't carrying her "lead paint detector" when she went to China. Mattell would have been wiser to send a handful of product testers to China in her place--but then if it had, while it would have avoided a huge recall, it might have been saddled with a CPSC Director who took her job seriously.