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Did politics weaken a consumer safety agency?

You've seen the women pushing the jogging strollers with their babies as they run in parks and on the sidewalks of Louisville. But when the BOB jogging strollers started losing their front wheels, the injuries mounted — and some were quite serious.

Broken bones. Torn ligaments. Baby teeth cracked and sheared off on hard pavement. Bleeding ears and kids' smashed faces.

During the six years between 2012 and 2018, there were 200 reports about the defective jogging strollers submitted to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Almost a hundred adults and babies suffered injuries before the CPSC decided a recall was necessary.

However, Britax Child Safety — the manufacturer of the stroller — refused to voluntarily recall almost a half-million strollers. They contended that when they were properly used by consumers, the strollers met safety standards for the industry.

Britax and the CPSC butted heads in court over the proposed recall. Then, the company got a political windfall. The current administration brought a majority of Republican leadership to the CPSC's oversight commission, changing the balance of power.

According to the Washington Post and former and present agency officials, the Republican chairperson of the CPSC failed to provide details of the dangerous strollers to the Democrats who sat on the commission. Then, she allegedly worked behind the scenes to end the case before the court regarding the proposed recall.

The federal government has done little to disguise the many deregulatory decisions it has made. But when it comes to safety with children's products and merchandise, it's likely that few consumers want to see regulatory pullbacks on unsafe products.

The CPSC is the agency responsible for vetoing the use of lead in paints for kids' toys. They were responsible for ceasing the sale of drop-side cribs that endangered youngsters. In short, they stood between the children of America and the companies that produced dangerous goods that could bring them harm.

With the teeth out of the agency, what can parents do if they suspect a dangerous product injured their children? They may choose to seek reparations from the civil courts by filing a product liability lawsuit to recover their losses and damages.

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