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U.S. Product Safety Overhaul Inches Closer

Published July 31, 2008

WASHINGTON D.C. (BRAIN)—Lawmakers moved closer this week to the biggest overhaul of U.S. product-safety rules in a generation.

Lawmakers are now expected to pass the bill after House and Senate negotiators reached an agreement reconciling two different measures. President George W. Bush has been supportive of such an overhaul, but the White House is still reviewing the House-Senate agreement.

On a Bicycle Product Suppliers Association conference call yesterday, much of the conversation revolved around this topic. BPSA board member and Fuji president Pat Cunnane is happy that stricter regulations seem right around the corner, yet hoped the bicycle industry would get input when enacting these higher standards for bikes and other related product.

“We have to have a seat at the table when the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) [enacts these higher standards],” Cunnane said. “There’s definitely no industry resistance to standards that make sense.”

Federal standards “that make sense,” Cunnane said, would be much more welcomed than “knee jerk reactions” by states such as New Jersey that have proposed legislation banning quick-release axles.

Cunnane sounded confident that whatever standards are put in place the bicycle industry would meet them with flying colors, citing the high quality bikes already in the “dealer market.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, the mass channel including Target, Wal-Mart and Toys “R” Us, have already stepped up their in-house standards. For example, Target is using a third-party testing service company “to identify and remedy any product-safety-related problems long before the product enters the supply chain,” a spokeswoman for Target said.

—Jason Norman

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