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Commissioner Bob Adler Elected Vice-Chairman of the CPSC, Making Him Acting Chairman of the Agency

September 13, 2019 | Blog | By Charles Samuels, Matthew Howsare, Shawn Skolky, Evelyn French

It was confirmed that Commissioner Bob Adler was elected Vice-Chairman of the CPSC. Because there is no permanent CPSC Chairman at this time, Commissioner Adler will become the Acting Chairman of the agency until a permanent Chairman is confirmed. Commissioner Adler—a Democratic Commissioner—has served on the Commission since 2009.
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In a press release this afternoon, Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle announced that she would be withdrawing her nomination to be the permanent Chairman of the CPSC, as well as her nomination for an additional 7 year term, which would have expired in October 2025
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FDA Ratchets Up Pressure on Homeopathic Drug Manufacturers

May 23, 2019 | Blog | By Benjamin Zegarelli

On May 14, FDA announced that it issued five Warning Letters to companies that manufacture and market homeopathic drugs for human use. The letters all cite cGMP deficiencies relating to inspectional observations and conclude that the products are misbranded prescription drugs under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act because “in light of their toxicity or other potentiality for harmful effect, or the method of their use, or the collateral measures necessary to their use, they are not safe for use except under the supervision of a practitioner licensed by law to administer such drugs” and they are not labeled for prescription use only.

In 2019 so far, FDA has issued Warning Letters to eleven separate homeopathic drug manufacturers, including the five letters referenced above. All of the Warning Letters, except one, cite observations from inspections and focus on cGMP and quality violations at the manufacturing facilities, including contamination and varying amounts of active ingredients, that could lead to consumer harm.
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As predicted by our colleagues earlier this month, outgoing Commissioner Scott Gottlieb of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a comprehensive press release setting forth actions for possible FDA regulation of CBD products. FDA also reinforced its position that introducing CBD or THC infused products into interstate commerce, including marketing CBD and THC dietary supplements, continues to be illegal.  In furtherance of this position, FDA released three warning letters to businesses marketing CBD products for using “egregious and unfounded claims aimed at vulnerable populations.”
Case Study Hero Manufacturer Obtains Reversal CPSC Enforcement Action Mintz

Breaking: CPSC Notifies Numerous Companies of Unprecedented, Unauthorized Disclosure of Information

April 11, 2019 | Blog | By Matthew Howsare, Charles Samuels, Shawn Skolky, Evelyn French

Recently, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) informed what could turn out to be a very large number of consumer product companies that it discovered what appears to be a mass inadvertent disclosure of nonpublic manufacturer and product specific information.
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FDA Silent on CBD Regulation at Cosmetics Conference, But Legislation May Be Imminent

April 1, 2019 | Blog | By Benjamin Zegarelli, Aaron Josephson

Regulation of cannabidiol (CBD) was a hot topic on Day 1 of ACI’s Cosmetics & Personal Care Products conference on March 28, 2019. Attendees asked many questions about legitimate uses of and claims for CBD, but definite answers were in short supply due to the current confusion over the legality of CBD as a product itself or other products, such as food or cosmetics, with CBD added.

When asked a direct question about FDA’s perspective on and plans for CBD regulation, Dr. Linda Katz, Director of FDA’s Office of Cosmetics and Colors and Acting Chief Medical Officer for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, did not comment directly but referred all attendees to an upcoming public meeting on CBD in April 2019. It is possible that the public meeting could be the start of an FDA rulemaking process for CBD regulations. Even though Dr. Katz was unable to comment, there was still plenty of CDB advice to share with industry attendees.

CPSC Commissioner Elliot Kaye Issues Statement Providing a Framework of Safety for the Internet of Things

February 11, 2019 | Blog | By Charles Samuels, Matthew Howsare, Evelyn French

Commissioner Elliot Kaye recently released a framework, which he co-authored with his Senior Science and Policy Advisor, Dr. Jonathan Midgett, that provides an “overview of technology-neutral best practices to ensure consumer product safety in the design and deployment of devices, software and systems used with the Internet-connected consumer products.” This framework should prove useful to consumer product companies as they navigate the burgeoning world of IoT devices.
Viewpoint General

Unilateral Recalls: Companies Should Consider Launching Recalls Without the CPSC During the Government Shutdown

January 24, 2019 | Blog | By Matthew Howsare, Charles Samuels, Evelyn French, Shawn Skolky

Now in its fifth week, the partial government shutdown has left many companies wondering what to do about recalls for consumer products. Generally, consumer product companies work in coordination with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) when conducting recalls. But like other affected agencies, the CPSC is currently operating with only its essential staff members, which is about 20 or fewer employees.

CA Prop 65 Coffee Issues Still Brewing

September 4, 2018 | Blog | By Daniel Herling

As has been widely reported, in May 2018, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge ruled that Prop 65 warning labels are required to be placed on “ready-to-drink” coffee products. Acrylamide, a Prop 65 listed chemical that allegedly is a carcinogen, forms during the coffee roasting process. 
One week after a San Francisco jury decided against Monsanto and awarded a plaintiff $289 million due to the alleged exposure that caused his cancer, the California Supreme Court refused to hear any further challenges by Monsanto.

TCPA Regulatory Update: FCC Evaluates Comments Received in Several TCPA Proceedings

July 18, 2018 | Article | By Russell Fox, Radhika Bhat, Elana Safner

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or “Commission”) is busy evaluating scores of comments and reply comments it received in several ongoing TCPA proceedings in the past month.
After the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia released its highly anticipated decision in ACA International v. Federal Communications Commission, courts have been addressing issues raised in that case. We previously summarized the opinion — which raises four issues, one of which is what constitutes an Automatic Telephone Dialing System (“ATDS”).
On July 1, 2018, California’s revised Automatic Renewal Law (ARL), Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17600 et seq., goes into effect.

First Amendment Still Trumps Prop 65

June 17, 2018 | Blog | By Daniel Herling

Recently, a federal judge sitting in the Eastern District of California (Sacramento), for the first time, refused to require a manufacturer to place a Prop 65 warning on its product based on a finding that the requirement would violate the company’s First Amendment rights. We have been following this developing issue for some time.
The consumer product safety community is rarely provided guidance by federal court decisions. On Tuesday, however, Judge R. Brooke Jackson of the Federal District Court for the District of Colorado issued an opinion in the never-ending saga of Zen Magnets, LLC v. CPSC.

TCPA Regulatory Update: FCC Reevaluates TCPA Rulings and Seeks Comment on Several Petitions

June 11, 2018 | Article | By Russell Fox, Radhika Bhat, Elana Safner

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) is reconsidering several issues central to TCPA liability, including what equipment constitutes an automatic telephone dialing system (“ATDS”) and who the “called party” is when a wireless number has been reassigned.

TCPA Regulatory Update: FCC Levies Historic Fine against Robocaller for Malicious Spoofing

June 11, 2018 | Article | By Russell Fox, Radhika Bhat, Elana Safner

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) is reconsidering several issues central to TCPA liability, including what equipment constitutes an automatic telephone dialing system ((“ATDS”) and who the “called party” is when a wireless number has been reassigned.
Our previous post discussed the decision in Marshall v. CBE Group, Inc., which completely rejected the FCC’s broad interpretation of an ATDS and found in favor of the defendant. Since then, another district court in the Ninth Circuit has followed suit, but three others in the Eleventh Circuit have concluded that the FCC’s 2003 Order survives ACA Int’l. It could behoove some TCPA defendants to seek stays while this circuit split is sorted out or until after the FCC clarifies its position on the ATDS issue following ACA Int’l.

California AG Leads Attack on Lead in Infant Formula

June 10, 2018 | Blog | By Daniel Herling

Fresh off a victory in the CA primary, California Attorney General Xavier Bacerra filed suit on June 7, 2018 against Nutraceutical Corporation of Park City, Utah and Graceleigh, Inc. dba Sammy’s Milk of Newport Beach, CA, alleging violations of California’s Proposition 65 and California’s consumer protection laws.
As this space has addressed before (see here and here), the California Transparency in Supply Chain Act (Civ. Code section 1714.43), enacted in 2010, requires large retailers and manufacturers (those with worldwide sales in excess of $100 million) doing business in California to disclose on their websites.
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