Give Consumers Accurate Data

Today the Wichita Eagle published the letter to the editor that I sent defending Congressman Pompeo’s move to halt funding for the consumer product database. Here’s the letter, in case you missed it.  

“Give consumers accurate data”

The commentary “Pompeo’s cut puts children’s safety at risk” (March 8 Opinion) could not have been further from the truth. Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, is doing exactly what he should do — question spending scarce public resources on poorly conceived programs that may well mislead consumers to their detriment.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission public database was launched with a “punch list” of more than 120 fixes still needed, and the list grows. It is not ready for consumers to rely on.

The commentary compared the database to warnings on cigarette packs. Really? Science tells us what carcinogens are in cigarettes. The commission will investigate less than 10 percent of the reports on this database, and those results will not necessarily be made public. A sketchy warning, at best.

Pompeo rightly insists on spending the money on a database that gives consumers accurate reports that can be safely relied upon in their decisions, not a mishmash of “junk science.” We should give consumers “news they can use,” not just a sinkhole for complaints.

We all want a database that works for consumers, not confuses them. The commission is supposed to address defective products, not produce them.

NANCY A. NORD

Commissioner

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Bethesda, Md.

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