56 Groups Urge Senate to Reject Rumored Nomination
14 January 2020 – Fifty-six consumer, environmental and veterans groups are calling on the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation to preemptively reject the rumored nomination of Dr. Nancy Beck to head the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
A congressional investigation found that Beck improperly intervened in agency decisions and scientific determinations while serving as a policy analyst in the U.S. Office of Management and Budget during the George W. Bush administration. More recently, as an official at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, she was the architect of numerous policies undermining toxic chemical safety standards aimed at protecting servicemembers, children and at-risk communities. For example, the groups are concerned that Beck would use her perch at the CPSC to undermine efforts to protect consumers from PFAS, a class of persistent and toxic chemicals that have been linked to testicular and kidney cancer, birth defects and immune system disorders.
“Throughout her career, Dr. Beck has opposed and weakened safety standards that impact our health and safety, and the environment, particularly with respect to toxic chemicals. If nominated and confirmed to lead the CPSC, she will have a perch to do even more damage to public health and consumer protection for many years. This is unacceptable,” the groups wrote in a letter sent today to the committee’s chair and ranking member. “Dr. Beck could be one of the most egregious examples of the proverbial fox guarding the henhouse.”
Beck is a former senior executive at the American Chemistry Council, a powerful chemical industry lobbying group that opposed CPSC rules limiting the use of phthalates in children’s products and limiting the use of organohalogen flame retardants in certain products. The groups believe that if nominated and confirmed, Beck would thwart the CPSC’s ability to protect consumers from the well documented harms that these chemicals pose. The CPSC is responsible for ensuring the safety of more than 15,000 products, and the chair has broad authority over the commission’s agenda.
“Giving Dr. Beck a post to slow down, weaken, or kill safety standards will have a lasting impact. Nothing less than the safety of your constituents is at stake. We urge you to make clear that you stand with our families, our children, our servicemembers, and our environment and oppose this nomination,” the letter concludes.