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Recent attempts to modify California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, Proposition 65, have been the work of the California Legislature. 
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A Sane Tweak to Proposition 65

March 16, 2015 | Blog | By Daniel Herling

his space has addressed on several occasions, recent attempts to modify California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, commonly known as Proposition 65.
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Another potentially meaningful development in legislation affecting consumer products companies: on February 25, a California legislator introduced a bill, AB 708, that would require manufacturers, distributors and retailers to disclose all "chemical" ingredients for designated consumer products "manufactured from chemicals or chemical compounds."
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Coming on the heels of the reintroduction of the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act, on March 3, 2015, the New York State Assembly Committee on Consumer Affairs and Protection voted 9 to 6, with one abstention, to pass bill A.617, which would require food made with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to be labeled as such.
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Last year, we wrote about legislative efforts on Capitol Hill to require the CPSC to implement a rule requiring childproof packaging for liquid nicotine containers.
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Last week, Sen. Barbara Boxer of California, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, and Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore)--joined by chef-lebrity Tom Colicchio--announced the reintroduction of The Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act, a federal bill that would mandate the labeling of foods or beverages containing genetically-modified organisms (GMOs). 
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In part two of this two-part series, we explore two critical takeaways for those facing potential government intervention: (1) the implications of the Court’s deference to the Commission, and (2) whether a substantive disclaimer is a silver bullet to avoid agency scrutiny (or, at least, an agency win).
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In this first post of a two-part series, we take a closer look at last Friday's decision in POM Wonderful v. FTC by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, which has meaningful implications for how companies advertise their products' health benefits to consumers.
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Nationwide Should be Applauded for Pro-Safety Super Bowl Ad

February 5, 2015 | Blog | By Charles Samuels

Last Sunday, during the Super Bowl, Nationwide Insurance ran a controversial commercial entitled “Make Safe Happen.”  The advertisement features a young child experiencing memorable moments growing up.  However, viewers are informed that the child would not actually experience these moments because he “died from an accident.” 
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A vote by European Union (EU) lawmakers in mid-January gave individual governments within the 28-nation bloc the authority to decide whether genetically modified organisms (GMOs) can be grown and cultivated within their borders. 
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Do local governments, such as town councils and county legislatures, have a role in regulating consumer products that is typically reserved for the federal and state governments?
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Proposition 65 May Mean More Than Warning Signs and Lawsuits

January 20, 2015 | Blog | By Daniel Herling

As this space has discussed, Proposition 65 has been the subject of attempts by the California Legislature to reform the enforcement of the law.
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Following an ABC 20/20 investigative story where CPSC Chairman Elliot Kaye called Craigslist's failure to block the sale of recalled products "morally irresponsible," the agency announced yesterday that it has entered into an agreement with the Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group (“Alibaba”) to stop the sale of products recalled by the CPSC to U.S. consumers.
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On January 5, 2015, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced that Gerber Legendary Blades, a division of Fiskars Brands Inc., has agreed to pay a $2.6 million civil penalty to resolve charges that it knowingly failed to immediately report to the CPSC a safety hazard associated with its Gator Combo Axe. 
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In our continuing efforts to highlight litigation trends that affect consumer product companies, we often focus on class actions brought in California and, especially, its federal Northern District. 
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Ho Ho Ho GMO! The 2014 GMO Legislation Scorecard

December 23, 2014 | Blog | By Mina Nasseri

his has been a big year for GMO legislation.  In 2014 alone, 25 states have proposed 67 pieces of legislation aimed either at the labeling of products containing GMOs or at the ban of GMO-containing crops. 
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As we've explored in past posts, Congress is currently considering a bill that aims to harmonize the patchwork of state efforts at regulating GMO labeling by placing such regulation firmly within FDA's jurisdiction.
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Yesterday congressional leaders announced that they reached a deal on an omnibus bill that will fund the federal government through September 30, 2015. Included in this bill is $123 million in funding for the CPSC, which is the amount the agency requested in its 2015 Budget Request and an increase of $5 million from what the agency received in 2014.
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Last month, Archer Daniels Midland Co. (“ADM”) joined a slew of corn exporters and other stakeholders who have sued Syngenta based on allegations that China rejected these exporters’ products because Syngenta’s genetically modified corn seed, which contains a trait that China has not yet approved for import, was not kept separate from the plaintiffs’ products.
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Tomorrow, December 5, 2014, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) will be briefed by staff on a recommendation to issue a proposed rule to permanently prohibit five phthalates – DINP, DIBP, DPENP, DHEXP, DCHP – from children’s toys and child care articles.  The use of three phthalates – DEHP, DBP, and BBP – in these products is already prohibited by law.
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