The Daily Kenoshan: U.S. Senate passes major consumer protection bill

August 4, 2008
Lisa Loring

MADISON — The Wisconsin Association for Justice (WAJ) today applauded the United States Senate for passing legislation that will help protect millions of consumers from dangerous toxins by making major revisions to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and called on President George W. Bush to sign the bill.

The measure, H.R. 4040, was previously passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and only needs the president’s signature to become law. The legislation did gain veto-proof majorities in both houses with a 424-1 majority in the House and an 89-3 majority in the Senate.

“This legislation provides crucial new consumer protection efforts that will benefit families throughout Wisconsin and the nation,” said WAJ President Christine Bremer Muggli. “On behalf of consumers everywhere, the Wisconsin Association for Justice thanks the overwhelming majority in both houses of Congress that supported this legislation and calls upon President Bush to sign the bill into law.”

The legislation sets up many new consumer protection measures including:

  • Requiring toys to be tested by outside companies for dangerous toxins before being made available to consumers, a practice that currently is not mandatory 
  • Creating a strong ban on lead in toys
  • Calling for the creation of a website for consumers to register complaints or accident reports and read reports posted by other consumers for products
  • Banning six chemicals, known as phthalates. Three of the bans would be permanent and three temporary, pending further studies
  • Requiring internet and catalogue ads include the same warning label information already mandatory in stores
  • Large increases in fines faced by companies who fail to report hazards or violate product safety laws Dramatically increasing resources available to the CPSC as well as their authority

“The members of this organization will stand up for consumers by supporting efforts to increase protection and ensuring they have access to justice when wronged,” said Bremer Muggli.

WAJ is Wisconsin’s largest statewide voluntary bar association. The organization is dedicated to promoting and protecting a fair and effective justice system – one that ensures justice for all, not just a privileged few.

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