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Statement of Chair Alexander Hoehn-Saric on Passage of the Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Interpreting Section 6(b)

February 08, 2023

Today the CPSC has taken a big step towards improving our rules implementing Section 6(b) of  the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA). This is long overdue as our current rules, which are  more restrictive than the statute requires, were adopted almost forty years ago, and have  remained essentially unchanged since that time. Section 6(b) often prevents the CPSC from  issuing timely warnings about dangerous consumer products when the Commission must  negotiate with the manufacturer to make any relevant information public. When the CPSC is  delayed in releasing information on product-related deaths and injuries, additional deaths or  serious injuries can occur. 

CPSC is the only federal safety agency with this statutory restriction. As long as 6(b) remains in  law, the CPSC cannot adequately inform the public of unreasonable risk of injury associated  with products that are often already in consumers’ homes. That is why moving forward with the  Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking today is so critical – the CPSC can and should  provide as much detailed safety information as possible under our statute so that consumers  can make informed decisions for themselves and their families. 

Through this proceeding, I hope to align our rules with the statutory limitations of the CPSA and  enable the agency to better function in the world we are living in today – where information can  be shared at the click of a button. By taking responsible steps to prioritize the safety interests of  the American people over protecting corporations in our section 6(b) rules, the Commission can  

better satisfy its mandate and protect the public against unreasonable risk of death or injury  caused by dangerous products. I look forward to receiving public comment on the proposal and  will continue to work with my colleagues to move forward on this important issue.

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