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JohnLocke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-07-07 10:26 AM
Original message
Edwards Unveils Detailed Proposals to Stop Imports of Dangerous Foods, Toys and Medicines
Edited on Wed Nov-07-07 10:30 AM by JohnLocke
Edwards Unveils Detailed 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
John Edwards for President
Wednesday, November 7, 2007

----
Protecting American Families from Unsafe Imports

"We cannot rely on industry for voluntary steps or wait for the broken system in Washington to act. America's families and our children deserve immediate action." John Edwards

America is facing a crisis of quality in imported products, food and medicine. Multinational corporations' race to cut costs by offshoring the manufacturing of drugs, toys, and other consumer goods has come at the cost of quality and safety. As imports have skyrocketed, industry lobbying has persuaded Washington to keep protections for families lax and out-of-date. George Bush has appointed lobbyists and industry executives to key jobs responsible for protecting the rest of us.

John Edwards will create tough new rules to protect families. Edwards proposes action in four areas: (1) taking on special interests to put Washington back on the side of regular families, (2) protecting children from dangerous toys, (3) strengthening food safety, and (4) ensuring that drug imports are safe. The Edwards plan will go further than the half measures recently proposed by Bush by:

*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.
*Banning lead paint in all children's products.
*Banning industry-bought gifts and travel and closing the lobbyist revolving door.

Putting Washington Back on the Side of Families
In Washington today, there are more than 60 lobbyists for every member of Congress. It is not surprising that the safety of drugs, food, and consumer products come second to corporate interests. To put families first, Edwards will:

*Put New Leadership at the Consumer Product Safety Commission: Officials responsible for product safety should look after families, not big corporations. Today Edwards called on President Bush to demand the resignation of Nancy Nord, the acting chair of the CPSC, who has accepted travel expenses from the toy industry and opposes congressional efforts to strengthen the CPSC to protect Americans families from dangerous imported toys.
*Ban Industry Gifts to Regulators: Senior CPSC officials, including Nord, have taken $60,000 of "gift travel" from industry groups to places like China, Spain and a Hilton Head golf resort. Edwards will ban executive branch regulatory staff from accepting travel or gifts from private industry or their lobbyists.
*Close the Lobbyist Revolving Door: The last three Bush picks to head the CPSC have been former lobbyists and the most recent chair is now an industry consultant. Edwards will bar federal lobbyists from taking senior executive jobs responsible for issues they lobbied on and bar appointees from lobbying their former colleagues for five years.
*Empower Consumers with Real-Time Recall and Complaint Information: The CPSC fails to disclose complaints and investigative reports to the public while the offending companies prepare their defenses. Edwards will prioritize the families who are at risk, not industry, when deciding whether to disclose potential dangers. He will make it easier for consumers to register defects and risks and release consumers' complaints and recall information virtually immediately at a new website, "familysafetyfirst.gov."

Protecting American Children from Unsafe Toys
As the holiday season approaches, American parents need to know that someone is looking out for their children. John Edwards proposed concrete and common-sense steps to that will reduce the growing risk posed by unsafe imports and ensure the health of American children. He will:

*Ban Lead in Children's Products: The ingestion of any amount of lead is harmful. As president, Edwards will ask the CPSC to prohibit lead at any level above the most minute trace amounts in children's products including toys and jewelry.
*Require Independent Testing: Edwards will require manufacturers and private-label resellers to certify that the children's products they sell have been tested to meet U.S. safety standards. Testing must be conducted by an independent third-party organization accredited by CPSC, and products that have not have been certified should be banned.
*Stop Risky Products at the Border: Until effective independent testing of all toys is in place, Edwards will give the Customs Service and the CPSC the authority to detain shipments of toys containing paint or magnets without independent safety certification just like the Food and Drug Administration temporarily detained Chinese seafood and hold them until testing of a random sample demonstrates that they are safe.
*Provide the CPSC with the Power and Resources it Needs: To deter even large companies from marketing dangerous products, Edwards will increase the maximum civil fine to $100 million. He will give CPSC authority to act far more quickly, rather than giving manufacturers 30 days notice while children's safety is at stake. Finally, he will double resources for the CPSC.

Keeping Food Safe
Americans now eat an average of 260 pounds of imported foods a year, but the FDA inspects only 0.7 percent of imported food products. China recently admitted that 180 food processing facilities had been caught putting industrial additives into food.

*Require Country-of-Origin Labels: Large meat packers, agribusiness lobbyists and retailers like Wal-Mart have blocked implementation of country-of-origin labeling requirements. Edwards will finally enforce mandatory country-of-origin labeling, giving Americans an informed choice and giving other countries an incentive to improve their food safety systems.
*Integrate Food Safety Rules and Enforcement: Fifteen different agencies regulate some part of our food supply, enforcing 35 different laws. Different agencies regulate meat lasagna and vegetable lasagna. Edwards will give one regulatory body clear responsibility for food safety and give the FDA the resources to scale up inspections.
*Give the FDA Mandatory Recall Powers: Neither the Agriculture Department nor the FDA can order mandatory recalls of the food products they inspect. The agencies are not even equipped to monitor how well companies carry out voluntary recalls. Edwards will establish the power to order mandatory recalls and make it illegal for companies to sell recalled products.
*Require Safety Systems Abroad: Edwards will require countries exporting food to the U.S. to have safety systems certified by the FDA as equivalent to our own. This added protection will supplement, not replace, inspections by U.S. officials.

Ensuring Safe Drug Imports
American drug companies now get up to 80 percent of their ingredients from foreign manufacturers, but the FDA inspects only about 7 percent of these foreign businesses. Recent investigations by journalists and the GAO revealed grave lapses in America's drug import safety system.

*Put Permanent Inspectors in Importing Countries: Edwards will station permanent FDA inspectors in all countries with significant imports, starting with China and India. The agency's foreign offices will have inspectors able to conduct spot inspections without notice and regularly inspect manufacturers even after drugs are approved, as they are in the United States. They will also have necessary language skills or translators on staff.
*Demand Safety on Chinese Exports: China allows chemical manufacturers to sell drug ingredients without even minimal standards, a regulatory gap that led to the poisoned toothpaste and cold medicine that killed hundreds in Panama and Haiti. Edwards will demand that China regulate all companies that sell pharmaceutical ingredients.
*Prevent Counterfeit Medicines: Americans face a one-in-100 chance of buying tampered or fake goods each time they go to the drugstore. Big drug companies have lobbied and litigated to prevent enforcement of the drug safety law passed in 1988. John Edwards will require the pharmaceutical industry to quickly implement non-forgeable electronic "track-and-trace pedigrees" and enforce laws requiring sellers to prove that their drugs came from an authorized distributor.

http://johnedwards.com/nh/20071107-import-safety/
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-07-07 10:27 AM
Response to Original message
1. What a concept! You'd think
this would be in the big DUH department, but not in our corporatewarped country.
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underpants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-07-07 10:30 AM
Response to Original message
2. This will sell BIG TIME
everyone I know from all political stripes are feeling /waking up to what their role apparently is. None of them like it at ALL.

This sells people.
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Tejanocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-09-07 10:18 AM
Response to Reply #2
11. Agreed! Who's looking out for unsafe products flowing into the country? No one right now! Go Edwards
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JohnLocke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-07-07 12:50 PM
Response to Original message
3. Kick (nt).
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Clark2008 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-07-07 12:56 PM
Response to Original message
4. A lot of pomp for the circumstance.
Want to make food and products safe? Stop NAFTA, impose trade restrictions, punish American companies who take their plants overseas and employee American workers and, most importantly, BUY AMERICAN.

Problem solved.
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mrigirl Donating Member (442 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-07-07 03:03 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Buying American
Thank you for emphasizing the point that I have been trying to make to my friends for years...BUY AMERICAN
Our cars cost more, why? because we pay our employees decent wages and benefits as we should. Other countries pay very poorly and are able to come in with a much cheaper car. I have always owned American cars with very little problems. My father was a WWII Vet and would roll over in his grave if I bought German or Japanese for obvious reasons!!
If we want this country to thrive we have to build it back up. Sure foreign car companies provide Americans with jobs here but the profits benefit their country not ours. Keep that in mind next time you purchase anything. Many products made here are superior to anything made elsewhere. Case in point John Deere. Nothing is made quite like one.
Lets support a candidate that closes the borders, denies amnesty to the illegals and helps THIS country prosper....we are long overdue!!!!! I only hope that I can find that candidate. Can anyone help me????????????
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bpeale Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-07-07 03:15 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. the latest beef recalls have been american
there needs to be strict processes on food that have been very very lax in this country for the last 7 years. people are dieing because the food regulations have been relaxed.
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JohnLocke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-07-07 11:39 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. Edwards: Smarter Trade that Puts Workers First
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JohnLocke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-08-07 01:30 AM
Original message
oops, forgot link
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JohnLocke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-08-07 01:30 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. oops, forgot link
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JohnLocke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-08-07 06:37 PM
Response to Original message
9. Kick (nt).
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Czolgosz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-09-07 08:23 AM
Response to Original message
10. Thanks for posting this.
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AzDar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-09-07 10:37 AM
Response to Original message
12. JRE...the man with the plan.
:kick:
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