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Consumer Product Safety: US Opens Safety Office in China

With all of the dangerous products entering the United States from China, what is the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to do? How about setting up an office in China?

The CPSC plans to do just that in an attempt to reduce the flow of dangerous products into the American market, the Associated Press reports. "By having a proactive preventative posture, we can reduce the number of recalls and keep our consumers safe and also prevent the loss of revenue and damage to a manufacturer's brand," Commission head Inez Tenenbaum said. Tenenbaum called the new office "history-making."

China was selected specifically for the new office because 45% of US consumer products and 90% of all toys sold in the U.S. come from China and Hong Kong. The CPSC was created to help protect the public from unreasonable risks from consumer products, such as vehicles, cribs, tools and chemicals.

China has reportedly been making changes to its consumer product safety review process, in light of food and product safety scandals, including tainted fish and lead scares.

Over the past five years, there have a number of Chinese recalls in US, BBC reports. Mattel announced in 2007 it was recalling over 18 million Chinese-made toys due to a serious safety risk. However, well some might take the move of setting up a consumer product safety commission office in China as a sign of increasing danger, Tenebaum said that was not the case."We're seeing an improvement in terms of the quality of products coming out of China," said Tenenbaum, BBC reports.

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