Consumer Reports Becomes National Snitch

Consumer Reports-Showerhead

Turns High-Performing Showerhead Over to EPA for Exceeding Water-Flow Limit

Washington, DC, August 31, 2009 – CEI today criticized Consumer Reports for reporting a high-performing shower head to federal authorities—not because it is defective or fraudulently advertised, but because it exceeds government limits on shower head water flow.

In its latest issue (Oct. 2009, released this past Friday), Consumer Reports states that the British-made Hudson Reed Theme Thermostatic Shower Panel had a forceful spray that “seemed too good to be true—or legal.”  Environmental Protection Agency regulations limit shower head water flow to no more than 2.5 gallons per minute.  Consumer Reports acknowledges that many shower fixtures get around this rule by using several shower heads, but the magazine decided to report the new single-head fixture to authorities, anyway.  (In its words, "We’ve contacted EPA….")

“Consumer Reports has it backwards,” stated CEI General Counsel Sam Kazman.  “Its duty is to consumers, not bureaucrats.  It should not be acting as a nosy bathroom cop, trying to toss good products in the slammer just because they violate some intrusive federal regulation.  More basically, people ought to be able to use whatever shower fixtures they want, just like they can decide how long a shower to take.  This is a really victimless crime.”  

EPA, meanwhile, is planning to reduce shower head flow even more in the near future.  Mr. Kazman stated that Consumers Union, the magazine’s publisher, “will probably support this, because it, like the federal government, doesn’t care if consumers get soaked.”

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