Header graphic for print
Consumer Product Matters A product safety and consumer related regulation and litigation blog

Category Archives: Supply Chain Risk Management

Subscribe to Supply Chain Risk Management RSS Feed

Counterfeit Products Are Often Unsafe Products – More Reasons to Aggressively Police Infringement of Your Trademarks and Trade Dress

Posted in Consumer Product Safety, Manufacturer Product Safety, Private Labeler Product Safety, Product Liability, Retailer Product Safety, Supply Chain Risk Management

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.  Aarti tells us that, in addition to the… Continue Reading

Stuck in the Middle with the FTC

Posted in Advertising, Federal Regulations, Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Litigation, State Consumer Protection Laws, State Unfair Competition Laws, Supply Chain Risk Management

“…Clowns to the right of me, jokers to the left, here I am…” -Stealers Wheel (1972) 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.  For example, in 2014, the FTC issued 16 “closing… Continue Reading

California Prop 65: More Unintended Consequences

Posted in Litigation, Prop 65, State Consumer Protection Laws, State Product Safety Laws, State Regulations, Supply Chain Risk Management

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. There were, however, amendments to Prop 65 settlement terms, penalty amounts and… Continue Reading

CPSC Sends Another Shot Across the Bow of Retailers with $3.8 Million Civil Penalty Against Best Buy for the Sale of Recalled Products

Posted in Consumer Product Safety, Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), CPSC Civil Penalties, CPSC Enforcement Actions, Retailer Product Safety, Supply Chain Risk Management

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.”  This civil penalty is significant because the alleged… Continue Reading

The Last Set of Major FSMA Regulations Are Done!

Posted in Federal Regulations, Food & Drug Administration (FDA), Food and Beverage, Manufacturer Product Safety, Supply Chain Risk Management

The last of FDA’s seven “foundational” rules mandated under the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011 (FSMA) was published at the end of last month, just a few days before the May 31, 2016 deadline agreed to by the Agency when it settled a lawsuit related to its implementation of FSMA (our posts on the… 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

A Decade Later, Rules for the Sanitary Transportation of Food Finally Finalized by FDA

Posted in Distributors, Federal Regulations, Food & Drug Administration (FDA), Food and Beverage, Retailer Product Safety, Supply Chain Risk Management

Last week, FDA finalized new food safety regulations seeking to ensure the sanitary transport of human and animal food, as required under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The final Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food Rule will affect shippers, loaders, carriers, and receivers of food transported by rail or motor vehicle in the… Continue Reading

Federal Court Makes No Exceptions for “Commodity Products” and Orders Zen Magnets to Stop Selling Previously Recalled Magnets

Posted in Consumer Product Safety, Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), CPSC Civil Penalties, CPSC Enforcement Actions, CPSC Product Recalls, CPSC Product Recals, Distributors, Litigation, Supply Chain Risk Management, Voluntary Recalls

There have been many twists and turns over the past four years concerning the CPSC’s regulation of certain high powered, rare-earth magnet sets and its litigation against various entities selling these magnets.  In the latest chapter of the magnets saga, a federal court in Colorado has permanently enjoined Zen Magnets (Zen) from selling magnets purchased… Continue Reading

Another California Dismissal of Proposed Class Action Regarding Disclosure of Forced Labor in the Supply Chain

Posted in Advertising, Food and Beverage, Litigation, Product Class Actions, State Consumer Protection Laws, State Unfair Competition Laws, Supply Chain Risk Management

We recently blogged about a new wave of class action litigation related to California’s Transparency in Supply Chains Act.  In December, Nestlé USA won the dismissal of a complaint against it alleging that the company was “obligated to inform consumers that some proportion of its cat food products may include seafood which was sourced from… Continue Reading

Knockout in Round One: Court Dismisses California Supply Chains Act Class Action

Posted in Advertising, Food and Beverage, Litigation, Product Class Actions, State Consumer Protection Laws, State Unfair Competition Laws, Supply Chain Risk Management

The first round goes to the industry: on December 9, 2015, the Central District of California dismissed the complaint in Barber v. Nestle USA, a key bellwether case in a new wave of class action litigation related to California’s Transparency in Supply Chains Act. The Barber plaintiffs’ theory was that Nestle had violated California’s panoply… Continue Reading

The Future of Hoverboards: Federal Safety Standard or Voluntary Safety Standard?

Posted in Consumer Product Safety, Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Manufacturer Product Safety, Retailer Product Safety, Supply Chain Risk Management, Voluntary Standards

Over recent weeks, national media outlets have reported extensively on multiple claims from consumers that hoverboards—self-balancing scooters growing immensely in popularity, particularly over the holiday period—have caught fire.  Much of the focus of these claims has been related to the overheating of the hoverboards’ lithium ion batteries.  In the wake of these reports, major airlines… Continue Reading

Three More FSMA Rules Finalized As the Year Comes to a Close

Posted in Federal Regulations, Food & Drug Administration (FDA), Food and Beverage, Importer Safety, Manufacturer Product Safety, Private Labeler Product Safety, Product Liability, Supply Chain Risk Management

Although not quite meeting the deadline of October 31 established in a legal settlement last year, FDA has released a set of three more “foundational” Final Rules mandated by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA or the Act). The Final Rules on Foreign Supplier Verification Programs, produce safety, and accredited third-party certification were released by… Continue Reading

When Transparency Is Not Enough: Class Action Litigation Under California’s Transparency in Supply Chains Act

Posted in Litigation, Product Class Actions, Prop 65, State Consumer Protection Laws, State Unfair Competition Laws, Supply Chain Risk Management

Passed in 2010, the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act has a worthy aim: requiring retailers and manufacturers doing big business in California to disclose what measures, if any, they are taking to ensure their suppliers comply with human rights standards. What started as a legislative effort to educate consumers and incentivize good corporate citizenship,… Continue Reading

What is CPSC’s Fast Track Recall Program and When Should Companies Utilize It?

Posted in Consumer Product Safety, Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), CPSC Product Recalls, Manufacturer Product Safety, Private Labeler Product Safety, Product Liability, Retailer Product Safety, Supply Chain Risk Management, Voluntary Recalls

So what is the CPSC’s “fast track recall” program and what is the benefit of participating in it? What is a “stop sale notice” and why does the CPSC generally request it for fast track recalls? What else is required by the CPSC in order to participate in the program and what are the potential… Continue Reading

FDA Finally Releases Initial Framework for Food Importation “VQIP”

Posted in Food & Drug Administration (FDA), Food and Beverage, Supply Chain Risk Management

As many readers of this blog know, the start of 2011 saw the enactment of a massive bill aimed at overhauling the nation’s food safety system to become more preventive instead of reactive to safety problems and illness outbreaks. Among the numerous significant new regulations, requirements, and programs that are being implemented under the authorities… Continue Reading

Bloomberg Product Safety Article Misses the Mark; U.S. Product Safety Economy Safer Than Ever

Posted in Children's Products, Consumer Product Safety, Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), Federal Regulations, Importer Safety, Supply Chain Risk Management, Voluntary Standards

On April 7, Renee Dudley of Bloomberg News authored an article entitled “The Cheap Toys You Buy Your Kid Are Rarely Inspected.”  The article has been republished by major news publications and gained some nationwide attention.  Ms. Dudley’s article uses the tragic death of a toddler to argue that the American consumer product safety system… Continue Reading

California Appellate Court Takes on Proposition 65 Warning Triggers

Posted in Children's Products, Distributors, Food and Beverage, Litigation, Manufacturer Product Safety, Product Liability, Prop 65, Retailer Product Safety, State Consumer Protection Laws, State Product Safety Laws, State Regulations, Supply Chain Risk Management

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.  (See A Sane Tweak To Proposition 65 and California Reenters the GMO Food Labeling Arena – This Time Through The Legislature).  This past week, however, the California Appellate Court for the… Continue Reading

Update: Syngenta Litigation Regarding GMO Corn

Posted in Distributors, Food and Beverage, Importer Safety, Litigation, Supply Chain Risk Management

In a recent post, we detailed lawsuits filed by corn exporters, farmers, and other stakeholders against Syngenta Corp. regarding its marketing of corn which contains genetically modified (“GMO”) traits that have not been approved for export to countries such as China.  On December 11, 2014, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation agreed to consolidate multiple… Continue Reading

GAO Releases Report on CPSC Response to New and Emerging Hazards

Posted in Consumer Product Safety, Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), CPSC Enforcement Actions, Federal Regulations, Importer Safety, Manufacturer Product Safety, Product Liability, Retailer Product Safety, Supply Chain Risk Management, U.S. Congress

On October 14, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) published a report entitled “Consumer Product Safety Commission: Challenges and Options for Responding to New and Emerging Risks.”  The report analyzes the timeliness of the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) response to “new and emerging” safety risks from new or existing consumer products.  It is based upon… Continue Reading

FDA Announces More Changes to FSMA Implementation Rules

Posted in Food & Drug Administration (FDA), Food and Beverage, Importer Safety, Supply Chain Risk Management

On September 19, 2014, FDA announced potential changes to four rules that the agency proposed in 2013 to implement the Food Safety and Modernization Act (“FSMA”). FSMA was signed into law in January 2011 in response to many reported incidents of food-borne illness during the 2000s. FSMA’s goal is to ensure that food in the… Continue Reading

Proposed Counterfeit Parts Rule Would Expand Coverage to Commercial Products Sold to Any Federal Agency

Posted in Consumer Product Safety, Supply Chain Risk Management

Written by: Jonathan Cain On June 10, 2014 the federal government proposed to expand the coverage of the rule designed to weed out counterfeit electronic parts in products sold to the Government. The new rule, if adopted in the form proposed, would expand coverage of the anti-counterfeit parts rule in three significant ways:

California Names First Consumer Products for Green Chemistry “Priority Products” List

Posted in Product Liability, Prop 65, State Consumer Protection Laws, State Product Safety Laws, State Regulations, Supply Chain Risk Management

Recently, we have informed our readers of product safety legislative and regulatory initiatives, including green chemistry programs, driven at the state level.  One of these important state regulatory initiatives is California’s Green Chemistry Initiative.  California’s “Safer Consumer Products” regulations seek to reduce toxic chemicals in consumer products by establishing a process whereby manufacturers of certain… Continue Reading

Toy Companies Sued for Importing Defective Products

Posted in Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), CPSC Civil Penalties, CPSC Enforcement Actions, Supply Chain Risk Management

Last week, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) filed suit in federal court against four California companies and six individuals for importing products that violate the Federal Hazardous Substances Act (“FHSA”) and the Consumer Product Safety Act (“CPSA”).  The individuals and companies — Toy Distribution, Inc., S&J Merchandise, Inc., BLJ Apparel, Inc. and All Season… Continue Reading

Large Retailer Fined for Violating Australia’s Product Safety Laws

Posted in Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), CPSC Civil Penalties, Retailer Product Safety, Supply Chain Risk Management

At the end of December, Dimmeys, a large Australian discount department store, was fined approximately $3 million dollars by an Australian court for violating Australia’s federal product safety laws for the fifth time. The retailer’s supplier, Starite Distributors, was fined $600,000, and the owner of Dimmeys has been banned from managing the company (or any… Continue Reading