NFPA Chief Opposes Baroody as CPSC's Chairman

The National Fire Protection Association's president, James M. Shannon, announced his opposition to the nomination of Michael Baroody for chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Shannon said in a letter that Baroody lacks "the requisite willingness to stand up for consumer safety when those interests conflict with the interests of industry."

Shannon asked the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation to reject Baroody, citing his opposition to a bill in New York State requiring fire-safe cigarettes. "The enactment of that New York fire safe cigarette statute was one of the signal events in the advancement of fire safety in America in the last century, and it is extremely troubling that one who would chair an agency so central to the safety of consumers in the United States would have attempted to thwart its becoming law," Shannon in a letter to the committee.

Smoking materials are the leading cause of home fire deaths in the United States, with an average 35,000 structure fires annually blamed on them. New York in 2000 became the first state to pass a fire-safe cigarette bill, but Baroody, representing the National Association of Manufacturers, wrote to then-Gov. George Pataki urging him to veto it.

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