CEH Statement Opposing Michael Baroody for Chair of CPSC

Oakland, CA- The Center for Environmental Health (CEH),
the nonprofit health protection organization whose work recently led to a
national media expose of the Consumer Product Safety Commission's failure to
protect children from lead poisoning in vinyl lunchboxes, is calling on the
Senate to reject President Bush's nomination of industry-lobbyist Michael Baroody for the top spot at CPSC.

"With the recent failures at CPSC, it is especially
alarming that President Bush has nominated an industry crony for the nation's
top consumer protection post," said Michael
Green, Executive Director of CEH. "The President had a chance
to appoint a real champion of public health, but instead he has picked a man who
has spent his career opposing consumer interests and trying to weaken CPSC's authority."

Last month, the Associated
Press
reported on government documents showing that the Bush CPSC
covered up lead risks to children from lead-contaminated lunchboxes, after CEH
investigations found high lead levels in lunchboxes that could pose a health
threat to children. 

Baroody is currently Executive Vice
President of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), a trade group that
has long opposed product safety regulation and pollution prevention laws, and
that according to consumer groups has called for weakening CPSC. During his
tenure at NAM, Baroody has been at the forefront of opposition to laws that
protect children and the public from unsafe products and toxic health threats,
including:

  • In 2000, when manufacturers covered up their knowledge
    of tire problems that led to the deaths or injuries of over 500 people in car
    accidents, NAM opposed legislation requiring
    manufacturers to provide the government with accident data that they previously
    withheld. Regarding NAM's lobbying, the bill's sponsor Senator John McCain said,
    "The fix is in from the special interests."
  • In 2001, Barody decried a
    Supreme Court ruling that upheld EPAs authority to
    regulate toxic air emissions, a decision that upheld laws that save tens of
    thousands of lives and billions of dollars in health costs by reducing air
    pollution;
  • Barody later welcomed new
    Bush Administration rules that relaxed pollution prevention laws for power
    plants;
  • In 2003, NAM opposed protectioins from asbestos exposure and teamed with the
    asbestos industry to lobby Congress in opposition to proposed
    regulations;
  • NAM is a leader in the
    polluter-backed junk science campaign to deny global warming; their official
    position states that science has "not confirmed evidence of global warming that
    can be attributed to human activities."

CEH is calling on the public to urge their Senators to
reject Baroody's appointment. A sample letter to
Senators will be posted on the CEH website at http://www.cehca.org/CPSC_ActionAlert.htm. 

Oakland, California-based CEH has a ten-year track
record of protecting children from hidden lead risks in consumer products. In
addition to vinyl lunchboxes, the organization's
legal action and advocacy has eliminated lead risks to infants and children in
baby powders, children's medicines, imported candies, and metal and vinyl
jewelry.

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