The U.S. Senate has approved the final version of bipartisan legislation that will protect children and consumers from toxic toys and other dangerous products by strengthening the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and providing the agency with vital new tools to carry out its mission. The bill, which was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this week, bans lead in toys and other children’s products and makes other important improvements to our nation’s consumer safety regime. The bill also provides tougher civil and criminal penalties for violations of safety laws, bans the resale of recalled products, and requires safety certifications and tracking labels for toys.
“The Consumer Product Safety Commission Reform Act” also includes a number of provisions that were authored by Senator Collins based upon an investigation conducted by her staff on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. That investigation noted significant deficiencies in our nation’s ability to protect children from unsafe toys and other dangerous consumer products. For example, the legislation gives the federal government the authority to “seize and destroy” imports that pose a danger to American consumers.
Senator Collins’ initiated her investigation following several significant toy recalls last summer, which highlighted the need for a better system to track and recall potentially dangerous consumer products.
“This bill will help the federal government better detect and prevent threats to our children before, not after, toys reach store shelves,” said Senator Collins. “The Homeland Security Committee’s investigation into product safety identified serious gaps in our protections that this bill will fix. It includes provisions I authored giving Customs and Border Protection agents the power to seize and destroy hazardous toys and other unsafe products when they arrive at our ports,” Collins said. “The safety of toys and other consumer products has taken a giant leap forward with passage of this bill. I urge the President to sign it into law as quickly as possible.”
During floor debate on the Senate-passed version of this legislation in March, Senator Pryor, a co-author of the Senate bill, praised Senator Collins’ effort. “She has made this bill better in some very fundamental ways… I don’t think anybody can look at her sections of the bill and ever say she is not greatly improving our ability to protect our shores from dangerous and unsafe products,” said Senator Pryor. “Senator Collins has a lot of respect on both sides of the aisle… She has been a key player, a key architect in this legislation.”