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Category Archives: U.S. Congress

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Cosmetics Reform Activity Begins in the 115th Congress

Posted in Consumer Product Safety, Drugs & Cosmetics, Federal Regulations, Food & Drug Administration (FDA), Manufacturer Product Safety, Private Labeler Product Safety, U.S. Congress, Uncategorized

As we have discussed in previous posts, Congress may be moving towards finally enacting some long-awaited cosmetics reform legislation this year. On January 13, Representative Pete Sessions (R-TX) reintroduced his cosmetics modernization bill as H.R.575. The package of reforms was first introduced in November 2015 as the Cosmetic Modernization Amendments of 2015 (H.R.4075). Overall, the proposed legislation would amend… Continue Reading

FDA Finalizes Tobacco Product Intended Use Rules, Under a Risk of Rescission by Congress

Posted in Federal Regulations, Food & Drug Administration (FDA), Tobacco Products, U.S. Congress

As we’ve previously written about, 2016 represented a regulatory sea change for manufacturers, distributors, and retailers of e-cigarettes and other electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), who became subject to FDA oversight and requirements under the May 2016 Deeming Rule for tobacco products. In Monday’s Federal Register, FDA issued a final rule to exclude products derived… Continue Reading

CPSC in a Post-Election Government: Restraint and Moderation Are Required by All Sides

Posted in Consumer Product Safety, Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), Federal Regulations, State Consumer Protection Laws, State Product Safety Laws, U.S. Congress

We have had a huge election result, perhaps the most significant in our lifetime, potentially even exceeding what was called the Reagan Revolution.  It is critical, particularly for anybody from Washington DC, to have a great deal of modesty and humility in prognosticating the future under the Trump administration even in the CPSC world.  We… Continue Reading

Coming Soon to a Lawbook Near You – New Cosmetic Requirements

Posted in Consumer Product Safety, Drugs & Cosmetics, Federal Regulations, Food & Drug Administration (FDA), Manufacturer Product Safety, Private Labeler Product Safety, U.S. Congress

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.  The HELP Committee also heard from experts in… Continue Reading

Hot CPSC Jurisdictional Issues: Does the CPSC Have Regulatory Authority Over Amusement Park Rides and Guns?

Posted in Consumer Product Safety, Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), CPSC Product Recalls, Federal Regulations, State Product Safety Laws, State Regulations, U.S. Congress

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… Continue Reading

CPSC Chairman Kaye and Commissioner Adler: Current Civil Penalties Approach Works

Posted in Consumer Product Safety, Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), CPSC Civil Penalties, CPSC Enforcement Actions, Federal Regulations, Litigation, U.S. Congress

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.  Their overarching message: such criticisms are without merit and are, in reality, a call for lesser penalties; there will be no change… Continue Reading

House Passes GE Labeling Bill; Obama Expected to Sign

Posted in Federal Regulations, Food & Drug Administration (FDA), Food and Beverage, U.S. Congress

As a parting act before its seven-week recess, the House last Thursday passed by a vote of 306-117 Senator Pat Roberts’s (R-KS) legislation (S.764) requiring the labeling of genetically engineered foods.  Already approved by the Senate last week, the bill is now expected to be signed into law by President Obama, according to a White House… Continue Reading

Senate Passes Bill Requiring Labeling for Genetically Engineered Foods

Posted in Federal Regulations, Food & Drug Administration (FDA), Food and Beverage, U.S. Congress, Uncategorized

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. Unlike Roberts’s original bill, he and Stabenow’s version would mandate the… Continue Reading

CPSC Civil Penalties: A Divide Along Party Lines

Posted in Consumer Product Safety, Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), CPSC Civil Penalties, CPSC Enforcement Actions, Litigation, U.S. Congress

This article originally appeared on Law360 on June 14, 2016 and provides additional analysis to our prior posts on civil penalties. This past March, while speaking at a Consumer Federation of America luncheon, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Chairman Elliot Kaye stated that he “was pleased to announce” that the agency had secured a $15.45 million civil penalty. Commissioner Joe Mohorovic,… Continue Reading

Senate Appropriations Bill Targets FDA Rulemaking Agenda

Posted in Federal Regulations, Food & Drug Administration (FDA), Food and Beverage, U.S. Congress

The Senate Appropriations Committee is looking to tinker with the Food and Drug Administration’s rulemaking agenda through its fiscal year 2017 funding bill for the Department of Agriculture and FDA (S. 2956). Passed unanimously by the committee last month, the bill would give FDA marching orders to mandate the labeling of genetically engineered (GE) salmon, while putting… Continue Reading

CPSC Announces Civil Penalty against Teavana; Commissioners Remain Divided on Civil Penalty Enforcement, Calculations, and Transparency

Posted in Consumer Product Safety, Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), CPSC Civil Penalties, CPSC Enforcement Actions, Litigation, U.S. Congress

On May 26, 2016 the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) announced through a Record of Commission Action (“RCA”) that Teavana Corporation (“Teavana”) has agreed to pay a $3.75 million civil penalty to resolve charges that it knowingly failed to immediately report that certain glass tea tumblers could “explode, shatter or break during normal use.” … Continue Reading

USDA Increases Cane Sugar Imports to Meet Demand for Non-GE Products

Posted in Federal Regulations, Food and Beverage, State Regulations, Supply Chain Risk Management, U.S. Congress

On May 17, 2016, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) announced that it is allowing an additional 200,000 short tons of cane sugar imports to meet food manufacturers’ increasing demand for non-genetically modified sugar products. In its news release, the agency explained that “USDA recognizes that America’s beet sugar producers have made significant investments in… Continue Reading

New GE Ingredient Labeling Bill Intensifies Food Fight in Congress

Posted in Federal Regulations, Food and Beverage, U.S. Congress

The latest salvo in the legislative food fight over genetically engineered (GE) ingredients came from the Senate, where Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) has introduced a bill that would instruct the Secretary of Agriculture to create a voluntary food labeling standard for bioengineered foods. Perhaps most importantly, this voluntary federal standard would preempt conflicting… Continue Reading

FDA Places Ban on Import of GE Salmon

Posted in Federal Regulations, Food & Drug Administration (FDA), Food and Beverage, U.S. Congress

Reversing course from the end of 2015, FDA recently announced an import ban on genetically engineered (GE) salmon until such a time as comprehensive labeling guidelines are introduced. Despite FDA’s approval of GE salmon in November 2015, the agency appears to have bowed to congressional pressure and placed a hold on the importation of the… Continue Reading

Congress Passes 2016 Spending Bill with Significant Funding for Food Agencies

Posted in Food & Drug Administration (FDA), Food and Beverage, Litigation, Product Class Actions, U.S. Congress

The 2016 Omnibus Spending Bill recently passed by both houses of Congress ushers in important developments in the food safety, labeling, and nutrition spaces.  Following House and Senate votes December 18, it now goes to President Obama for his signature. The bill includes important provisions for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Department of… Continue Reading

Legislative Action to Remove Microbeads from Personal Care Products Intensifies

Posted in Drugs & Cosmetics, Federal Regulations, Manufacturer Product Safety, State Consumer Protection Laws, State Regulations, U.S. Congress

The International Campaign Against Microbeads in Cosmetics is most likely celebrating this week, following the California State Legislature’s passage of a bill that would prohibit the use of plastic microbeads in personal care products after January 1, 2020.  The bill, AB 888, now heads to Governor Jerry Brown’s desk for his signature.  Although several states already… Continue Reading

Does CPSC or FDA Have Jurisdiction Over Your Consumer Product?

Posted in Consumer Product Safety, Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Drugs & Cosmetics, Federal Regulations, Food & Drug Administration (FDA), Food and Beverage, U.S. Congress

As our readers know, we write about legal developments that affect companies involved in manufacturing, importing, distributing, and/or selling “consumer products.” In many cases, these products fall squarely within the jurisdiction of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). But when is a so-called consumer product not regulated by the CPSC? Or, when does the CPSC… Continue Reading

The Patchwork Solidifies: GMO Bill Moves Forward in the House

Posted in Federal Regulations, Food & Drug Administration (FDA), Food and Beverage, Litigation, Product Class Actions, State Consumer Protection Laws, U.S. Congress

The proposed Federal regulation of GMOs is proceeding. Following the White House’s recent action on GMOs, Representative Pompeo’s “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act” (H.R. 1599) was passed by the House Agriculture Committee on July 14. The Pompeo bill is an attempt to preempt a patchwork of state regulations on GMOs. More specifically, the legislation:

Toy Safety Regulation Should Be Left To The Federal Government

Posted in Children's Products, Consumer Product Safety, Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), Litigation, Product Liability, State Consumer Protection Laws, State Product Safety Laws, State Regulations, U.S. Congress

[This article originally appeared on Law360.com on June 23, 2015.] On June 2, 2015, the Suffolk County Legislature became the latest county legislature in New York to pass a “toxic-free toys” act. About a week later, the New York City Council got in on the action and introduced a similar bill. Since the beginning of… Continue Reading

Albany County’s “Safe Toys” Legislation on Hold Pending Court Proceeding

Posted in Children's Products, Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), Federal Regulations, Litigation, State Product Safety Laws, State Regulations, U.S. Congress

Earlier this year, we wrote about a far-reaching product safety ordinance enacted into law in Albany County, NY (the “County”) entitled “The Toxic Free Toys Act.” At the time, we expressed our concern that numerous issues would arise in the local law’s implementation and enforcement, particularly with respect to those provisions in direct conflict with… Continue Reading

A Clean Slate? California Bill Is Latest Attempt to Legislate Labeling Requirements for Cleaning Products

Posted in State Consumer Protection Laws, State Regulations, U.S. Congress

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.” The bill designates a broad swath of consumer goods for disclosure, from cleaning products and floor polishes to… Continue Reading

New Product Safety Bills Address Child-Resistant Packaging for E-Cigarettes and Detergent Pods

Posted in Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Federal Regulations, Food & Drug Administration (FDA), U.S. Congress

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.  Liquid nicotine typically refills the vials for e-cigarettes, which are rapidly gaining in popularity.  Recently, Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL), the Ranking Democrat on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation,… Continue Reading

Deja Vu All Over Again: Federal GMO Labeling Legislation Re-Introduced

Posted in Federal Regulations, Food & Drug Administration (FDA), Litigation, State Consumer Protection Laws, State Regulations, U.S. Congress

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).  The bill is Senator Boxer’s second attempt at GMO labeling legislation; in… Continue Reading

Ho Ho Ho GMO! The 2014 GMO Legislation Scorecard

Posted in Federal Regulations, Food & Drug Administration (FDA), Food and Beverage, Litigation, State Regulations, U.S. Congress, Uncategorized

This 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.  While this space has strived to keep you up-to-date with the latest news in the war over GMOs, this scorecard… Continue Reading