Further industry-paid CPSC travel revealed

Nov. 8, 2007 at 10:26 AM

WASHINGTON, Nov. 8 (UPI) -- The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission released records showing industry-financed trips by employees date to at least 1998.

The newly released records indicate several more trips taken by CPSC employees and paid for by industry groups than previously reported, including a trip to China by General Counsel Walt Sanders in 2000 to attend a seminar on toy-safety standards, The Washington Post reported Thursday.

The records showed Ann Brown, a Clinton appointee who was chairwoman of the agency from 1994-2001, didn't accept travel paid by regulated industries but members of her staff occasionally accepted industry money for travel.

"I did not think it appropriate for me to travel on the industry's dime and we tried to do it as little as possible," Brown told the Post.

But when the agency reached its travel budget limits, she said, "I did think it was appropriate to send the appropriate line staff to lecture to the industry ... on how things should be done."

Seven Democrats in the U.S. Senate have proposed a bill that would ban federal regulators from accepting travel funds from regulated industries. The bill was sparked by the revelation that the current CPSC head, Nancy Nord, and her predecessor, Hal Stratton, took nearly 30 trips paid for by industry.

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