Scientists Sidelined as CPSC Politicizes Children’s Safety
What happened: The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) did not consider scientific evidence or its own scientific staff in a decision to not recall a jogging baby stroller shown to harm children and their parents. From 2012 to 2018, over 200 documented injuries came to CPSC by way of its reporting mechanism, saferproducts.gov, leading agency staff scientists to pursue an investigation that lasted nearly a year. This investigation was led by technical experts who ran experiments and collected evidence pointing them to a decision to begin a recall process. The Trump administration, notably acting chair Ann Buerkle, decided to keep information on the investigation secret from other commissioners as the commission as a whole decided on whether or not to recall the stroller. The commissioners, not having the CPSC’s evidence for a recall at their disposal, decided to not recall the stroller but to order the company to issue replacement parts. Unfortunately, the replacement parts also proved to be defective.
Why it matters: When science is left out of important decisions, the health and safety of the public is put at-risk. In the case of the CPSC commissioners not receiving needed scientific information in order to make an informed decisions regarding a recall, the lives of children were threatened. Especially when it comes to the safety of innocent children, our government’s decisions should be informed by the best available science, not politics.
Learn more about the CPSC's decision and why it puts children at risk.