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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 27, 2008 / 21 Adar I 5768

Recall agency needs help

By Vicki Lee Parker


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) I recall a time when product recalls were infrequent.

But lately, hazardous toys and other household products are in the news almost daily. A huge increase in imports from China, where oversight is not as stringent as in the U.S., is partly to blame, as well as manufacturers that use lead paint on toys such as the Thomas trains.

Some consumer advocates say only a small percentage of dangerous products are actually removed from store shelves.

Public Citizen, a nonprofit consumer advocacy group, recently released a study showing that manufacturers often wait nearly three years before telling the Consumer Product Safety Commission about defective products that can kill people. The government agency, which is in charge of protecting consumers from dangerous products, typically takes an additional seven months to warn the public, according to public documents examined by Public Citizen.

Last year, there were nearly 500 product recalls, including 61 related to children's products, according to Public Citizen.

As the parent of a young child, that scares me. Last week, Public Citizen gave worried parents something to do: Contact your senators and urge them to support a proposal that would boost funding for the Consumer Product Safety Commission and strengthen its power to protect us.

"The CPSC is hamstrung when it comes to alerting the public to dangers," said Joan Claybrook, president of Public Citizen. "Essentially, it has to get the manufacturers' permission, which is absurd."Public Citizen pointed to a recent recall settlement involving Sears stoves to highlight the failings of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The stoves have caused more than 100 deaths and injuries when they tip over onto people as they slide pans out or place them on the oven door.

The ranges, sold by Sears from July 2, 2000, to Sept. 18, 2007, are made with a lighter steel that makes it easier for them to tip over. They should have been installed with brackets to secure them.

As part of the settlement, Sears agreed to notify customers who bought the affected ranges that they are entitled to have brackets installed for free. Public Citizen estimates that it will cost Sears $546 million to fix stoves in about 4 million homes.

At a news conference Wednesday, Claybrook said the CPSC has known about the dangers of unsecured stoves since 1980 but did little to alert the public. In her opinion, it took an Illinois law firm to do what the agency should have done.

My attempts to contact the Consumer Product Safety Commission were unsuccessful. But a commission spokesman told The New York Times that last year, the agency listed the possible tipping of stoves and furniture as one of the top five consumer hazards.

It recommended that consumers install brackets and urged the industry to improve safety standards.

Why didn't the commission do more and act more quickly? Like other government agencies, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has been shrinking as its responsibilities have grown. The commission has less than half the 800 workers it had when it was founded in 1973.

The Senate bill that Public Citizen wants consumers to support would increase the commission's resources and funding, toughen the penalties for manufacturers and give the commission more power to enforce recalls. A similar bill has survived challenges from the National Association of Manufacturers, which is worried about costs.

Cleary, it takes time to call our elected officials. But when I think about the amount of time it takes for me to research whether my 3-year-old's toys are covered with lead paint, making two phone calls doesn't sound so bad.

Besides, groups such as Public Citizen have made consumers' job a little easier. On its Web site, www.citizen.org, it has an easy-to-read comparison of the House and Senate bills that are being considered. The site has a draft letter that you can download and mail to your senators. Check out www.senate.gov for a wealth of information, including how to reach your senators.

By the way, the deadline for filing a claim in the Sears range settlement is Sept. 18. For details, visit www.searsrangesettlement.com or call (888) 952-9084.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Vicki Lee Parker is a columnist for The News & Observer. Comment by clicking here.

Previously:

Account can help you save
Gift refund made him feel cheated
7 gifts to build wealth
Dump your bank escrow account, earn some interest
Enticing e-mail may lead to viruses, ID theft, malware
Ask to receive discounts
Learn from a con man
Nitrogen: pricey way to keep tires pumped
Buying private health coverage
Better Business Bureau ramps up
Two beeps, one item: Listen for overcharges
Recalls: What to do next
Do your homework before home repairs
To tip or skip it: Gratuity must be earned
Advice is free, if you look
Hire a cleaner who won't clean you out
Teach children smart money tips that will keep them busy all summer long
Warning: Don't trust the ATM
Reasons to beware of ‘We Buy Homes’
Too wise to fall for a scam
Untethering cell phone from carrier
Re-check your credit card rewards
Treasure might be buried in medical bills
Tax-time saving tip: Free filing is available
College money is waiting; don't procrastinate
Extended warranties rarely worthwhile
Too busy for tax planning? It'll cost you


© 2007, The News & Observer Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

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