Consumer Safety Chief Leaves a Small Agency With Bigger Powers« All News

November 01, 2013

Article from New York Times

Washington, DC (November 29, 2013) -- When Inez M. Tenenbaum took over the Consumer Product Safety Commission in 2009, she found an agency in turmoil and uncertain of its mission to ensure that tens of thousands of products on American store shelves did not present a danger to buyers.

By the end of her four-year term, which came to a close on Friday, she can say that she has presided over a significant increase of the agency’s powers. And Tenenbaum, 62, has not been shy about using them. The agency recently leveled its highest fine ever — $3.9 million — against Ross, the discount retailer, because it continued to sell what the commission said was defective children’s clothing, even after warnings from the agency.

She and the safety commission also waded into one of the most contentious topics in the sports world: protecting football players from head injuries. The result was the Youth Football Brain Safety initiative, which called for the replacement of youth league helmets with safer models paid for by the National Football League, the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the N.F.L. Players Association.

“I just felt like it was something that needed to be done,” she said.

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