November 2, 2007
Contact:
Anna Christopher, NPR

   

CPSC ACTING CHAIR NANCY NORD DEFENDS TRIPS
PAID FOR BY REGULATED INDUSTRIES
ON NPR NEWS ALL THINGS CONSIDERED
TODAY, FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2

EXCERPT BELOW; AUDIO AVAILABLE AT 7 PM ET AT WWW.NPR.ORG



November 2, 2007; Washington, D.C. – In an interview with host Melissa Block airing today on NPR News All Things Considered, Nancy Nord, acting chairwoman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, defends trips she took that were paid for by the industries the CPSC regulates: “Well, we have very strict regulations that govern travel. We go through a rather painstaking review by the Office of General Counsel before any trip is approved… With respect to Toy Fair, this is an event that officials of the CPSC have gone to virtually every year since the agency has been in existence. So frankly, going up to New York City to spend the day making speeches, meeting with importers of toys into this country is something that I see as part of my job.”

On whether she will continue to accept travel from the agencies regulated by CPSC, Nord says: “Until our travel policy is changed, I’m going to stick with our travel policy. However, because this issue has been raised, I have gone back to the Office of Government Ethics, and also to our solicitor general, and ask they take a look at it.”

On why she opposes current legislation that would broaden her agency’s oversight, Nord says: “I welcome change. And in fact I have proposed changes in our statutes. But we need constructive, workable changes. And, frankly, I don’t think that the bill before the Senate accomplished that goal.”

She continues: “What I did, and what seems to have gotten me in so much trouble, is that I wrote a letter to the Senate Commerce Committee Chairman. I indicated to him that there were things in there that were very useful, but there were things in that legislation that took us away from our core safety mission. I also indicated to him that the requirements in the legislation would end up imposing financial burdens on the agency well beyond what was available for us. I felt I had an obligation to bring that to his attention. And, Melissa, candidly, if a public official cannot privately state their concerns to a member of Congress, that’s wrong.”

All excerpts must be credited to NPR News All Things Considered. Television usage must include on-screen NPR News credit with NPR logo. The audio of the interview will be available at approximately 7 PM (ET) at www.NPR.org For a complete transcript of the interview tomorrow evening, contact information is below.

All Things Considered, NPR's signature afternoon news magazine, reaches 11.5 million listeners weekly, and is hosted by Melissa Block, Michele Norris and Robert Siegel. To find local stations and broadcast times, visit www.NPR.org