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CPSC Stakeholders Recognize Five Year Anniversary of CPSIA

August 26, 2013 | Blog | By Charles Samuels

This month marks the five year anniversary of the enactment of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 into law.  Commonly referred to as the “CPSIA,” the law has had a dramatic impact over the past five years on all firms involved in manufacturing, importing and selling consumer products.
he role of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in product liability cases is often a two-sided coin.  Evidence of a recall is sometimes allowed to establish notice of a defect though the standard to invoke a recall of a product is not the same as proving a design, manufacturing or failure to warn claim in a court of law.
The FTC’s recent settlements with three mattress companies send a message to all companies making “VOC Free” (volatile organic compounds) and similar environmental or “green” claims.
It would no doubt be helpful to present a jury with information of how plaintiff was driving too fast in choppy water before being thrown from a boat or how the plaintiff allowed lint to collect in the exhaust duct before a fire in the dryer caused property damage.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced recently that it stopped 4.8 million units of products at multiple ports of entry that violated product safety rules or were deemed to be hazardous. 

California Prop 65 Reform?

August 12, 2013 | Blog | By Daniel Herling

California has a reputation for many things: 8th largest economy in the World; land of fruits and nuts and a state not being overly business friendly. 
On August 5, 2013 the FDA issued its final rule on the voluntary labeling of food gluten-free. This is good news for both consumers and manufacturers.
When you board a ride at an amusement park, the question of who regulates the ride vs. the toy you just won is probably the last thing on your mind.
Contract clauses impacting risk assumption and risk transfer which are integral to the capturing of recall costs are often relegated to the “boiler plate” section of many Supply Agreements or are preprinted on the reverse side of POs that are often not sent by PDF or fax.
Starting in 2012, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) teamed up with football helmet manufacturers, the National Football League (NFL), and others to eliminate the use of outdated football helmets and teach safer game play among youth football players.

"Natural” Labeling on the Decline?

July 29, 2013 | Blog | By Michelle Gillette

Manufacturers are removing “natural” statements from their labels, both as part of lawsuit settlements and as an alternate marketing strategy.  PepsiCo has agreed to remove the phrase from its Naked juices after a lawsuit was filed against it in California, stating that it will wait for more detailed regulatory guidance on the term.
In what may be an indication of things to come, the Food Court (US District Court Northern District of California)  has decided to ask FDA for guidance on what it wants on food labels.

NIST Issues Guidelines on Mobile Security

July 10, 2013 | Blog | By Matthew Howsare

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has issued guidelines to help federal agencies manage and secure mobile devices used by their employees for government business.

The GMO Controversy Continues to Swirl

July 5, 2013 | Blog | By Michelle Gillette

Some are concerned that the potential health consequence of the use of genetically modified organisms in food is unknown because of the lack of long-term testing proving that it is safe. 
On June 27th, the U.S. Senate confirmed Marietta Robinson and Ann Marie Buerkle as new CPSC Commissioners. Robinson was first nominated in 2012 and participated in a hearing before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation on May 10, 2012. Buerkle was nominated in late May of this year and confirmed by the Senate one month later without having a Senate hearing.
When should a court decide a case that has issues involving an area that Congress has already weighed in on? 
A unanimous U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) announced that Ross Stores Inc. (“Ross”), a national discount retailer, agreed to pay a $3.9 million civil penalty to settle allegations that it failed to report its continued sale of banned children’s upper outerwear containing drawstrings.
Are you for or against GMOs?  Do you think the government should get involved?  Whether for or against legislation requiring labeling showing any Genetically Modified Organism contained in your food, the fact that the two sides are diametrically opposed on interpretation of critical aspects will ensure litigation.

What Does The Word “Natural” Mean, Anyway?

June 12, 2013 | Blog | By Michelle Gillette

It’s 2 o’clock in the afternoon, you need a snack – maybe a granola bar, but which one? Does the package that boasts it is “100% Natural” win out over the one that is only “All Natural”? 
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) recently proposed to substantially alter its 2008 regulation governing the form and contents of certificates of compliance for consumer products. 
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