Immediate Release: Contact: Rachel Weintraub,
April 17, 2001 U.S. PIRG (202) 546-9707


Bush Administration to Announce Appointment of Commissioner

Mary Sheila Gall as Chair of U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Statement of Rachel Weintraub, U.S. PIRG, Staff Attorney
"We hope that U.S. PIRG can work with Commissioner Mary Sheila Gall when she is appointed Chair of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The CPSC was created in 1972 by Congress in the Consumer Product Safety Act and directed to "protect the public against unreasonable risks of injuries and deaths associated with consumer products." Under the leadership of Chairman Ann Brown, the CPSC has prioritized this critical mission. We hope that Commissioner Gall will continue the strong tradition of consumer protection that has been the emphasis of the CPSC for the last eight years.
In Commissioner Gall's almost 10 years at CPSC, U.S. PIRG has been consistently disappointed with her decisions. For example, in December of 1999, Mary Sheila Gall voted against the issuance of a mandatory safety standard for Bunk Beds. U.S. PIRG and the state Public Interest Research Groups advocated for this rule to prevent future deaths and injuries caused by bunk beds. The CPSC had reports of 57 deaths of children who died as a result of entrapment in bunk beds from 1990 to 1999. We are particularly concerned that Commissioner Gall's decision to oppose the Bunk Bed rule was based in a belief that the industry should regulate itself even though since 1994 the CPSC had recalled more than 630,000 bunk beds for non compliance with the industry's entrapment guidelines.
Consumers need a strong CPSC that ensures product safety since the market place has proven ineffective as regulating itself. We truly hope that Commissioner Gall will work to maintain the strong Consumer Product Safety Commission that consumers need."
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U.S. PIRG is the national lobbying office for state-based Public Interest Research Groups across the country. The state PIRGs are independent, non-profit, non-partisan public interest advocacy organizations.