Nothing is Sacred

Posted by JM Ashby

Nothing is sacred in the Republican war on the poor, the middle-class, and apparently, children's safety.

Finding itself now on the chopping block may be the Federal Database of Unsafe Products, a database which holds complaints about thousands of products such as baby gear and household appliances which have been deemed unsafe by their owners. Republicans in the House say such a database may be bad for business, and an amendment has been added to the House budget to defund it.

AP [...] Johns, other parents who have tragically lost children, and consumer advocates are eagerly awaiting March 11, the formal launch date for the government database, where people can share complaints of injury or worse from everyday products such as cribs, high chairs, space heaters and toasters.

But the database, overseen by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, isn't universally popular. Manufacturers and some members of Congress fear such a "crowd-sourced" website will be bloated with bogus, inaccurate or misleading reports. One of those lawmakers, freshman Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., sponsored an amendment approved in the House last week to withhold additional funding for the database, which could bring the project to a halt. Prospects for his amendment in the Democratic-led Senate aren't clear.

Of course the claim that the system may be abused or filled with bogus complaints was immediately debunked by the commission responsible for the database.

Plenty of safeguards exist to ensure accuracy, insists CPSC Commissioner Bob Adler, a Democrat and database supporter. Not only will manufacturers be allowed to publish any rebuttal along with the complaint, Adler said the commission will remove or attempt to correct any information that is found to be false.

Republicans aren't really concerned with abuse of the system though. They're concerned about protecting shady business interests who gamble with the lives of their customers.

Such a claim may be considered baseless except for the fact that essentially every other social program that deals with the safety, health, or the general-welfare of the public is now under the guillotine.