Skip to main content

Commissioner Buerkle Addresses Syracuse Law Students and CSPA

June 09, 2014

I had the pleasure of hosting the Syracuse University College of Law Washington Lawyer’s Summer Seminar at CPSC. The seminar is a new program and was developed by Syracuse University Law Professor Terry Turnipseed.

The interns are paired with Syracuse University Law School Alumni who are practicing or working in the Washington, DC area.  Internship locations include federal agencies, local government, private firms, and not-for-profit agencies. The law students intern 35 hours per week for a semester at their host site.

As a graduate of the Syracuse University College of Law, the students’ visit to CPSC provided for an opportunity to share with them my journey as an attorney since I graduated from the law school in 1994.   It also afforded me the chance to provide a brief overview of the mission of the agency as well as the scope of my role as a Commissioner.

My sincere thanks to Scott De La Vega, my Syracuse University Law School classmate and CPSC attorney in the Office of the General Counsel, for participating in seminar with the law students. Thank you also to Acting Chairman Adler and Executive Director Elliot Kaye for stopping by to say hello to the students.

As a proud Syracuse University College of Law alum, I was honored to host the students at CPSC and look forward to my office participating in the Fall 2014 Syracuse University College of Law Washington Internship program. 

The Consumer Specialty Product Association (CSPA) recently held their conference, Consumer Product Safety Commission from A to Z, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Bethesda, MD.  The CSPA is an organization that represents the household and institutional products industry. Whether it is disinfectants, air fresheners, pest management, candles, cleaning products, or polishes, CSPA supports and represents all household and commercial customers to create and maintain a clean and healthy environment not only in the United States, but around the world.

I, along with Commissioner Robinson, was invited to address the conference attendees during the luncheon. Speaking to the group was a great opportunity to welcome everyone to the conference and briefly share my priorities as well as my commitment to the mission of CPSC.  I shared with the group how important it for CPSC to work with all stakeholders – government, industry, and consumer groups. I also informed the conference attendees were three guiding principles:

  1. Education & Outreach: If we can better educate and inform the regulated industry as to best practices, importance of understanding your supply chain, and being engaged with the CPSC on issues that are important to you we can work together to create safer products. Educational campaigns for the consumers are equally important. I think it is better to educate than regulate.
  2. Working relationships with all stakeholders: If we work to continue to open the lines of communications with stakeholders to engage with the agency, our mission will be aided by the knowledge and insights they are so willing to share with CPSC.
  3. Balance: Safety must be achieved in a balanced way that does not unnecessarily burden the regulated community while achieving the mission of safety.

Thank you to CSPA and CPSC staff, particularly Alex Filip, Blake Rose, Mary Toro, John Boja, and Neal Cohen who participated in the conference. Their ongoing commitment to providing valuable safety information to the regulated community through this conference is invaluable. These educational events all stakeholders together to further advance our common cause of product safety is a win-win for the consumer.

Report an unsafe product