JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA – As reported online by www.news4jax.com, a Consumer Reports investigation uncovers legal restrictions that make it difficult for the government to share information with consumers about dangerous and potentially deadly products.
A Consumer Reports investigation reveals that the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the government agency responsible for regulating the safety of consumer products, is limited in what information it can release to the public about defective and dangerous products.
The Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play infant sleepers are just one example of how information about injuries and death related to the infant sleepers did not reach consumers until recently as millions of infant sleepers were recalled. The infant sleepers have been linked to numerous infant deaths involving asphyxiation from infants turning to their stomachs while in the sleepers.
Under Section 6-B of the Consumer Product Safety Act, the CPSC is required, in most cases, to get the permission of a manufacturer before releasing information about certain products, even when the information about those products relates to injuries or deaths. As such, the CPSC may have known about infant deaths for years, but was unable to share this information with the public without the permission of Fisher-Price and other manufacturers of infant sleepers linked to deaths.
Another example involves certain Ikea dressers that were recalled in 2016 for posing a risk of injury or death to customers, especially children. Consumers were not aware of deaths and dozens of injuries dating back to 1989 until the 2016 recall. The CPSC was aware of the injuries and deaths linked to the Ikea dressers, but could not share information about such injuries and deaths without the permission of Ikea.
The most recent example involves Britax BOB jogging strollers. It took seven years for the company to provide a fix to the jogging strollers, which was linked to nearly 100 injuries. The jogging strollers have still not been recalled. The CPSC was aware of the injuries linked to the BOB jogging strollers, but could not share information about these injuries without the permission of Britax.
Given that the CPSC was essentially prevented from sharing important safety information with consumers, Consumer Reports is urging lawmakers to repeal Section 6-B of the Consumer Product Safety Act.
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