New era for consumer protection as Republicans take helm of watchdog agency

Consumer groups are bracing for a more pro-industry approach to safety, fearful that strides made in the name of product safety will be rolled back, as Republicans take the helm of the nation’s key consumer safety agency.

The Trump Administration last week elevated Ann Marie Buerkle, a Republican appointed to the commission in 2013, to the post of acting chairman. Buerkle replaces outgoing chair Elliot Kaye, a Democrat who stared down industry groups during the nearly three years he was in the position, calling out businesses for not being proactive enough on safety.

Kaye, who plans to stay on as a commissioner until his term expires in October 2020, bluntly told ABC News he expects the commission to do “an abrupt 180-degree on safety.”

In a press release, new acting Chairman Buerkle said, “While we are experiencing a change in leadership, CPSC’s mission remains the…

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