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Leading Mattress Manufacturer CEO Testifies in Support of Stronger Regulation of Toxic Chemicals before U.S. House Subcommittee
WASHINGTON, DC (March 12, 2014) – Today, Barry A. Cik, Co-founder of Naturepedic, a manufacturer of certified organic mattresses and bedding products for adults and children, testified in favor of stronger regulation of toxic chemicals before the U.S. House Energy and Commerce, Environment and the Economy Subcommittee, which is looking into the issue. He spoke as a representative of the American Sustainable Business Council Action Fund, of which his company is a member, and on behalf of a coalition called Companies for Safer Chemicals.
Cik said, “Our consumer products are, for the most part, not regulated regarding toxic chemicals. Industry produces 250 pounds of chemicals every year for every man, woman, and child in this country, and there are over 80,000 chemicals available for industry to use, with very little regulation or oversight for any of it.
“It is not responsible to leave it up to industry to work these issues out. Industry stopped polluting our lakes when the law told them to stop. Industry stopped adding lead to gasoline when the law told them to stop. Industry will only stop adding toxic chemicals to consumer products when you – who make the laws – tell them to stop.”
He also said, “When there is a level playing field, there is innovation. When the gasoline companies were told to eliminate lead, they stopped crying and found innovative ways to make gasoline without the lead. It’s no different with any other toxic chemicals. When you tell manufacturers to stop using toxic chemicals, they will innovate and produce better consumer products.
“The public is increasingly becoming educated about the risks of consumer products containing untested toxic chemicals. Consumers deserve access to transparent information and full disclosure regarding the products that they buy. Consumers do, in fact, believe that if it wasn’t safe, the government wouldn’t allow it to be sold. The public expects you – the U.S. government - to provide a level playing field where no manufacturer is permitted to use inappropriate chemicals in consumer products.”
Cik testified at a hearing of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce, Environment and the Economy Subcommittee, which is chaired by John Shimkus (R-IL). Shimkus introduced a proposal to reform toxic chemicals regulations on February 27, this year. Cik and ASBC and the Companies for Safer Chemicals coalition do not believe Shimkus’s proposals go far enough in reforming the 38-year old Toxic Substance Control Act.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Business owners and executives from across the country are available for comment.
The American Sustainable Business Council and the ASBC Action Fund represent a membership network of more than 200,000 businesses nationwide, and more than 325,000 entrepreneurs, executives, managers and investors. The Council www.asbcouncil.org informs policy makers and the public about the need and opportunities for building a vibrant and sustainable economy. The Action Fund www.asbcaction.org advocates for legislative change.