Saw a report tonight in the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer on lead paint in toys as a major health issue. As a father of a 14-month old, it got my attention, and that was before it interviewed a college classmate, and her economic studies showing a correlation between lead and crime statistics.
But much of it hailed the work of Consumers Union, the publisher of Consumer Reports magazine, taking on the lackluster oversight provided by the Bush Administration and the Consumer Product Safety Board on this issue.
I was reminded of a recent New York Times article spotlighting Consumer Reports and its parent organization, Consumers Union. The article, called “Success Without Ads” gives only a hint of the work that CU goes through to maintain its independence and reputation. Not only do they not take ads, they refuse to let their name be run in other people’s ads. They don’t accept any sample products.
The article talks about the test facility in Yonkers, NY, which I had the priviledge of touring many months ago. It’s pretty impressive and surreal. One room is totally devoted to washers and dryers, another just on light fixtures and ceiling fans. It’s pretty impressive.
I’ve had the chance to work alongside the good folks at CU for the entirely of my career in consumer advocacy, in one way or another, working with DC advocacy, their Yonkers headquarters, and most recently, their San Francisco office. I am proud they have been an active members of the Health Access California board, and it’s great they have been getting a little more attention.