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"Extra Sweet Pink Flesh Pineapple" - Oh My!

December 18, 2016 | Blog | By Joanne Hawana

First off, I will admit that I am somewhat of a sucker for fresh pineapple (in fact, it was my "gorging" food of choice during my pregnancies, when I could literally eat a whole pineapple in one sitting - which is embarrassing but, in my opinion, better than cravings for weird combinations like ice cream and pickles!).

FDA Increases Transparency of Adverse Event Data for Cosmetics and Foods

December 15, 2016 | Blog | By Fatema Ghasletwala

On December 6th, FDA announced that it is publicly releasing data received by the Agency’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) about adverse events related to cosmetics and foods, including both conventional foods and dietary supplements.
We do not get many court decisions in the CPSC world, but yesterday we received one. Last evening, a Wisconsin federal district court essentially held in the Government’s case against Spectrum Brands, Inc.
We reported a few weeks ago about a new warning from FDA related to the safety of certain teething-related, non-prescription homeopathic drug products, and in that post we mentioned that both FDA and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) held public workshops in 2015 to gather information about this uniquely-regulated class of consumer products.
On November 8, 2016, California voters approved Proposition 67, the statewide ban on carry-out plastic bags, by 52 percent. At the same time, California voters rejected Proposition 65 by 55 percent--a measure that would have sent the proceeds from sales of paper bags and reusable bags to environmental causes.
We have had a huge election result, perhaps the most significant in our lifetime, potentially even exceeding what was called the Reagan Revolution.
Our colleagues in Mintz Levin's Intellectual Property Practice, Aarti Shah and James Wodarski, recently authored an expert analysis piece in Law360 that examined the use of the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) to combat a rising tide of counterfeits and knockoffs in all kinds of consumer product industries.

Coming Soon to a Lawbook Near You - New Cosmetic Requirements

October 21, 2016 | Blog | By Fatema Ghasletwala

Back in April 2015, Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced the Personal Care Products Safety Act (S.1014). More recently, on September 22, 2016, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee received testimony from Senators Feinstein and Collins in support of this bipartisan legislation.

Stuck in the Middle with the FTC

October 19, 2016 | Blog | By Daniel Herling

Legal actions regarding “Made in the USA” claims, whether prosecuted by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or through various state unfair trade practices acts, often settle early in the proceedings. 
Last week, following up on a more general warning issued on September 30, FDA alerted the public that it had received at least 10 reports of baby deaths associated with the use of homeopathic teething products, as well as over 400 other adverse event reports over the past six years (since a 2010 consumer alert about certain ingredients in the same products).
As it signaled it would be doing earlier this year, FDA has initiated a public process to redefine the implied nutrient content claim “healthy” when it is used on food labels and labeling.

California Prop 65: More Unintended Consequences

October 11, 2016 | Blog | By Daniel Herling

Last month, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (“OEHHA”) adopted new Proposition 65 warning regulations.  Much of the discussions regarding these new regulations have centered on the warning requirements that become effective, after an approximately two-year phase-in period, in August 2018.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced that Best Buy Co., Inc. entered into a settlement agreement with the CPSC to pay a $3.8 million civil penalty to resolve allegations that it “knowingly sold, offered for sale, and distributed in commerce recalled consumer products.”
After launching with an ambitious agenda fourteen months ago (as we wrote about here), last Friday the Obama Administration announced that its Biotechnology Working Group had completed its two main tasks. 
In the wake of two tragic amusement park ride accidents in Kansas and Tennessee, and the ongoing political debate in America over gun safety issues, we felt it timely to help answer a question that continues to be asked in the media: does the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) have the authority to address the safety of amusement park rides and guns?
Products like e-cigarettes and other electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) have been under intense scrutiny in recent years from public health officials, legislators at all levels of government, and many other interested parties, including dozens of plaintiffs in lawsuits stemming from battery explosions and other injuries.
Yesterday, CPSC Chairman Elliot Kaye and Commissioner Robert Adler issued a lengthy joint statement vigorously defending the Commission’s current approach to civil penalties against various criticisms voiced by Commissioners Joe Mohorovic and Ann Marie Buerkle as well as stakeholders in the business community.
On July 6, 2016, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its ruling in United States v. DeCoster, in which it upheld prison sentences for two executives under the “responsible corporate officer” (RCO) doctrine of liability, also called the Park doctrine, for their role in introducing into interstate commerce eggs that had been adulterated with Salmonella.
Four months after the Senate defeated a GE labeling bill (S.2609) introduced by Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS), the upper chamber Thursday night passed, 63-30, a compromise measure (S. 764) that Roberts co-wrote with Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), the Ag Committee’s Ranking Member.
On June 15, Chuck Samuels, Co-Chair of Mintz Levin’s Consumer Product Safety Regulatory Practice Group, provided testimony to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) at the Commission’s Meeting on its Agenda and Priorities for FY 2017 and 2018. 
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