Please see attached scan of an article that appears in today's Private Eye. I believe this is a succinct and truthful summary of the current situation regarding the furniture fire safety regulations.
OPSS people on this copy list are more than welcome to provide evidence and facts (i.e. not just opinion) that this article is untruthful or misrepresentative.
The last time Private Eye ran an article on the regulations, the OPSS went on a witch hunt to find out who'd provided the information for it. The subject of that article was the fact that the OPSS had appointed an "expert panel" (which it quotes in the current consultation documents, anonymously) with 10 out of the 11 members being strong supporters of flame retardants. The OPSS had been advised by other government departments that these appointments were not in keeping with government good practice guidelines, e.g. they should have sent out an open invitation for relevant people to apply. Anyway, their main reaction to the article was not to explain their actions but to track down whoever had leaked the information. They decided on an official in another Department as being guilty (of simply informing the public of the truth, by the way) and proceeded to destroy his career, hounding him out of his job. This was a good man, a true expert in flame retardant harms. In 2015, for example, he gave a talk at a BEIS stakeholder meeting on the review of the regulations, taking issue with the flame retardant representatives present, citing much evidence of the harm these chemicals cause to human health, and how they enter the food chain on a daily basis. Which, incidentally, indicates just how far BEIS/OPSS have departed from good government practice in recent years. I'm sure I'm not the only one, for example, to note that they still have not provided details, including names, of their experts panel. If there was nothing to hide about these experts, the OPSS would of course be only too happy to tell us all about them.
The fact that the OPSS discovered that the official they pursued was innocent of the supposed crime didn't stop them hounding him. Why? Well, and this is pure speculation of course, the flame retardant industry would not have been happy about that article because it exposed their common practice of infiltrating what are supposed to be neutral, balanced, experts committees which then for example push the line, as in the current consultation documents, that the "new approach" is the way to go (and with it the retention of huge volumes of flame retardants in our furniture). It also of course exposes the OPSS's continuing and unexplained support for the flame retardant industry (while at the same time claiming that it is trying to reduce chemicals in furniture). In other words, someone had to be made an example of. A practice quite common for the OPSS, as I well know of course.
I suggest to the OPSS that instead of mounting another witch hunt (when there would not be much point anyway in the circumstances) a better use of its time would be to put right the clear bias it has shown for some years now towards maintaining the chemical status quo of the regulations and falsely promoting the opinion that they provide fire safety. It would also be nice if they apologised to the man whose career they unnecessarily destroyed. But on past behaviour I suspect that is somewhat unlikely.