Ann Brown was sworn in today as the new Chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Ms Brown was nominated to head the Commission by President Clinton in October 1993.
Brown said, "I am thrilled to accept this responsibility as Chairman of the CPSC. My background in toy safety and other consumer issues gives me the knowledge needed for this position. As a grandmother, I am dedicated to protecting children and other vulnerable groups from unreasonable risks of injury and death associated with consumer products. I look forward to working with the Commission's excellent staff and my fellow Commissioners to enforce safety standards and make sure consumer products are as safe as possible." She added, "This agency should be on the cutting edge of consumer safety."
She said she has three major goals for the agency. "First, we need to make the agency more proactive." She said, "This means becoming highly visible, innovative, and not afraid to take risks." She also said, "Being proactive means to enforce the law aggressively." She said the agency will be "action-oriented."
Second, Brown said she wants the agency to be "highly visible, not an underdog but an aggressive watchdog."
Third, she said, "I want the agency to become more user friendly and accessible to consumers. Consumers should know who we are, what we do, and that we care."
Brown served as a consumer advocate for two decades, directing several product studies and price surveys, including the nationally recognized "Toy and Children's Products Quality, Safety and Price Survey." This survey provided an annual update on unsafe toys and helped consumers make safer choices in the marketplace. Brown helped form the Washington, DC Office of Consumer Protection and served since 1980 as vice president of the Consumer Federation of America. Since 1983, she has been chairman of the board of Public Voice, a consumer advocacy group focusing on health and nutrition issues, and since 1988 she has been a member of the Coalition for Consumer Health and Safety. In 1991, she joined the Institute for Injury Reduction.
Ann Brown earned her BA from The George Washington University in 1959 and previously attended Smith College. She is married to Donald Brown, a Harvard Business School professor and attorney. The couple has two children and three grandchildren.
CPSC's mission is to protect the public from unreasonable risks of injury and death associated with consumer products. The Commission's objective is to reduce the estimated 28.6 million injuries and 21,700 deaths associated each year with the 15,000 different types of consumer products under CPSC's jurisdiction.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical or mechanical hazard. CPSC's work to help ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters and household chemicals -– contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 40 years.
Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly-announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.
To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury go online to www.SaferProducts.gov or call CPSC's Hotline at 800-638-2772 or teletypewriter at 301-595-7054 for the hearing impaired. Consumers can obtain news release and recall information at www.cpsc.gov, on Twitter @USCPSC or by subscribing to CPSC's free e-mail newsletters.
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