Edwards Unveils Proposals to Stop Imports of Dangerous Foods, Toys and Medicines

Says President Bush and a broken system in Washington have left our children and families vulnerable to unsafe products

(Manchester , NH) – Today, Senator John Edwards detailed his latest proposals for protecting children and families from unsafe imports at forum with students at a middle school in Amherst, New Hampshire. Edwards unveiled his plans for protecting Americans from dangerous toys, strengthening food safety, ensuring that drug imports are safe, and taking on specialinterests to put Washington back on the side of regular families.

“America is facing a crisis of quality in imported products, food and medicine,” Edwards said. “We can no longer rely on corporations to initiate recall after recall while our government sits on the sidelines and our nation's children and families remain at serious risk. Multinational corporations’ race to cut costs by offshoring the production of drugs, toys and other consumer goods has come at the price of quality and safety.

“The broken system in Washington has created weak consumer protection regulations and bad trade deals leaving our children and families vulnerable to unsafe products. Worst all of all, this is not by accident – industry lobbying has persuaded Washington to keep protections for families lax and out-of-date. As president, I will overhaul our import safety system and stand up to the special interests who put corporate profit about the health and safety of the American people. It’s time for our government to take steps to protect our childrenfrom dangerous toys, strengthen food safety regulations and ensure that drug imports are safe.

“But American families shouldn’t have to wait until 2009 – they deserve to know right now that their government is doing everything possible to keep them safe. That’s why today I sent a letter to President Bush demanding the resignation of Nancy Nord, the acting chair of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, who has accepted travel expenses from the toy industry and opposes congressional efforts to strengthen the CPSC and protect Americans families from dangerous imported toys.”

Throughout the campaign, Edwards has showed that he has the backbone to stand up for regular families against multinational corporations and their lobbyists in Washington. Edwards has issued the boldest lobbying and ethics reforms to put Washington back on the side of the American people, and he is the only candidate in this race who has offered voters a detailed plan to overhaul our import safety system. Today’s plan will:

· Put Washington Back on the Side of Regular Families: Edwards will nominate officials who actually believe in their agencies’ missions, ban industry gifts and travel to regulators, close the lobbyist revolving door and empower consumers with an improved web site for consumer complaints and recalls.

· Protect American Children from Unsafe Toys: Edwards will ban lead in all children’s products, require mandatory independent testing, give officials the authority to stop risky products at the border, stiffen penalties for wrongdoing and double funding for the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

· Keep America’s Food Safe: Edwards will finally enforce country-of-origin labeling, strengthen food safety authority, beef up inspections with mandatory recall powers and ensure that all exporting countries have tough safety systems of their own.

· Ensure Safe Drug Imports: Edwards will station permanent FDA inspectors to conduct spot inspections in all countries with significant imports, starting with China and India. He will also demand that China regulates is chemical exporters and require “track and trace” pedigrees on all drugs to fightcounterfeits.

The Edwards plan will go further than the half-measures recently proposed by President Bush by (1) calling for leadership at the Consumer Product Safety Commission who actually believe in the mission of the agency, starting with the resignation of acting chair Nancy Nord, (2) banning lead paint in all children’s products, and (3) banning industry-bought gifts and travel and closing the lobbyist revolving door.

For more information please see “Protecting American Families from Unsafe Imports.” <--- Click Here