Obama Picks New Consumer Safety Chair

Wants SC education superintendent to head expanded agency
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted May 5, 2009 7:59 AM CDT
Tracy Shelton holds a copy of the 'Trouble in Toyland' report which provides examples of toys currently on store shelves that pose a threat to children, Dec. 3, 2008.   (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
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(Newser) – President Obama is turning to South Carolina's former education superintendent to head an expanded Consumer Product Safety Commission, an embattled agency that has been criticized by advocates for being too cozy with industry, the AP reports. The president was set today to propose two more seats on the panel and ask Congress for $107 million to fund the agency.

Obama will nominate former superintendent Inez Moore Tenenbaum to head the group, charged with ensuring that products from toys to toasters are safe. The budget request falls short of the president's campaign pledge to double the agency's funding, although aides say it is almost three-quarters of the way there. "We must do more to protect the American public, especially our nation's children, from being harmed by unsafe products," Obama said.
(Read more Consumer Product Safety Commission stories.)