Congresswoman Diana DeGette

Representing the First District of Colorado
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Consumer Protection

As a senior member of Energy and Commerce Committee, U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette has been involved with countless issues that impact consumers’ rights and the public’s expectation that products in the marketplace are safe and held to certain quality standards.  More specifically, she has been involved with issues related to the medical device approval process, vaccine development, and protections for individuals involved with human subjects research.  She is also involved with technology-driven privacy issues brought about by advances in mobile devices, social media, and the Internet.
 

FOOD SAFETY

Congresswoman DeGette is a recognized leader on the subject of food safety and played a critical role in updating our nation’s outdated and ineffective food safety infrastructure to keep our children safe and our food industry secure.  In response to frightening incidences of foodborne illness impacting Colorado residents and businesses, Congresswoman DeGette introduced legislation to address glaring deficiencies in our food safety system.  In January 2011, President Barack Obama signed the Food Safety Modernization Act, the first major updates to our food safety infrastructure since the 1930’s.  This legislative milestone included two major provisions credited to Congresswoman DeGette:

  1. Giving the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority to issue mandatory recalls of tainted foods
  2. Pilot projects to bring about a comprehensive food traceability system in America

Click here to read my floor statement in support of the legislation.

The Food Safety Modernization Act also sets forth stricter inspection requirements for imported goods to ensure foreign products are held to the same standards as what is grown and produced domestically.
 

CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY IMPROVEMENT ACT

After years of recalls and far too many injuries and deaths from unsafe products, Congresswoman DeGette worked as a conferee and lead negotiator on the final Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act(link to: http://www.cpsc.gov/about/cpsia/cpsia.html ) to protect America’s children from dangerous levels of toxins that were showing up in toys and other goods.  In particular, she influenced provisions in the bill effectively banning lead from children’s toys, as well as banning the most dangerous phthalates and limiting the use of others.  Phthalates are used to soften plastics but can be toxic and harmful to children.  Congresswoman DeGette was heralded for her bipartisan leadership in creating this important law and she continues supporting adequate funding to provide for the sensible enforcement of the most substantial overhaul of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
 

TOXIC SUBSTANCES CONTROL ACT (TSCA) REFORM

The Toxic Substances Control Act became law in 1976 and has not been updated since.  This law provides the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the authority to regulate production and use of certain industrial chemicals. 

Congresswoman DeGette has long been concerned about the number of chemicals put to commercial use today that have gone without sufficient toxicity testing.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found evidence of exposure to many chemicals in the bodies of American adults and children, some of which do not have any toxicity data, making it impossible to know which are safe or which are associated with adverse health conditions.

A principle supporter of the Safe Chemicals Act on the Energy and Commerce Committee, Congresswoman DeGette will continue working to reform this outdated law.  Among other things, the Safe Chemicals Act would require any new chemical to meet a safety standard prior to its entry in commerce and provide incentives for the development of green chemicals.

Congresswoman DeGette hosted public briefings in 2010 outlining the principles for TSCA reform and addressing the issue of legitimate confidential business information claims.  The Congresswoman also filed comments with the EPA in October 2010 on their proposed modifications to the Inventory Update Reporting rule to obtain more information about chemical production and exposure under TSCA.  Expanded information on chemical production, use and exposure is essential to achieve a full understanding of the risks posed by the thousands of chemicals used in products to which we are exposed in our homes, schools and workplaces.

More on Consumer Protection

Sep 12, 2017 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-CO) and her Democratic colleagues on the Energy and Commerce Committee today sent a letter to Equifax Chairman and CEO Richard Smith seeking more information about the massive data breach that has compromised the sensitive personal information of approximately 143 million Americans.

Jan 12, 2017 Press Release

Washington, DC –Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-CO) today was selected to serve on three key Energy and Commerce subcommittees working on issues of national concern that have special resonance for Coloradans.

Nov 23, 2016 Press Release

Denver, CO – With families in Colorado and across the country about to hit the roads for the holiday season, Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-CO) has renewed her push for authorities to overhaul an outdated federal standard governing car seatback safety and require that the government be notified whenever death or injuries from seatback collapses occur.

Nov 3, 2016 Press Release

House Energy and Commerce Committee members Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Susan Brooks (R-IN) today asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for information about how the agency is working to address potential cybersecurity vulnerabilities in medical devices. 

Jun 8, 2016 Press Release

Washington, DC – Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-CO) praised the passage today by the U.S. Senate of Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, which reforms U.S. chemical safety efforts under the four-decade-old Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

“TSCA has been flawed since it became law in 1976,” DeGette said.  “Nobody likes it—not the environmental community, not chemical manufacturers, nor the parents of America, whose children are exposed to dangerous substances throughout their homes each and every day.  

Mar 15, 2016 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – One day after the National Football League (NFL) admitted at a House Energy and Commerce Committee roundtable that there is a link between football and degenerative brain disorders, U.S. Rep.

Feb 29, 2016 In The News

WASHINGTON — Facing hundreds of millions of dollars in lawsuits, the giant biotechnology company Monsanto last year received a legislative gift from the House of Representatives, a one-paragraph addition to a sweeping chemical safety bill that could help shield it from legal liability for a toxic chemical only it made.

Nov 2, 2015 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Rep.

Oct 8, 2015 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO), Ranking Member on the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, and full Committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr.

Oct 8, 2015 In The News

DENVER (CBS4) – A Congressional panel was held a hearing Thursday to look into the emissions cheating scandal by Volkswagen with a Colorado representative taking center stage.

VW first confessed the deception to U.S. regulators on Sept. 3, more than a year after researchers at West Virginia University first published a study showing the real-world emissions of the company’s Jetta and Passat models were far higher than allowed. The same cars had met emissions standards when tested in the lab.