Consumer Product Safety

Please join Kelley Drye in 2017 for the Advertising and Privacy Law Webinar Series. Like our annual in-person event, this series will provide engaging speakers with extensive experience and knowledge in the fields of advertising, privacy, and consumer protection. These webinars will give key updates and provide practical tips to address issues faced by counsel.

On November 29, 2016, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) published guidance for private litigants when drafting protective orders, confidentiality agreements, and settlement agreements in litigation related to consumer products within the CPSC’s jurisdiction.  The guidance encourages parties to include a provision in their protective order or settlement agreement that allows for disclosure of relevant

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

Earlier this month, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) reminded businesses that, in February, the Federal Court of Australia ordered Woolworths to pay $3.057 million AUD for several violations of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (CCA). Specifically, the court found that Woolworths:

  • Over the course of three years, made false or misleading representations

Good Friday was not so good for Gree Electric Appliances, Inc., because the CPSC announced that it had reached a record-setting $15.45 million settlement with the company regarding dehumidifiers it manufactured and imported.  The CPSC alleged that the company delayed in reporting potential safety hazards, which is typical for CPSC civil penalty actions, but also

At the International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization (ICPHSO) conference in D.C. last week, Chairman Elliot Kaye and other CPSC representatives raised eyebrows with an active agenda, which included proposed and recent changes to the civil penalty investigation and corrective action plan status quo. Specifically, the agenda includes:

  • Publication of DOJ Referrals – The

Hoverboards have skyrocketed as a top gift this holiday season, dominating retail shelves and website banners. Many manufacturers make the products, at a range of price points. If your company is selling these Segway-esque self-balancing boards, think closely about potential safety issues. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) reportedly has initiated an investigation into claims

This week the Consumer Product Safety Commission voted to approve a test program to assess the electronic filing of certificates of compliance at entry in coordination with U.S. Customs and Border Protection.  With the idea of better coordination among partner government agencies to facilitate electronic data collection and sharing of import data, the CPSC endorsed

Recently, Health Canada released guidance to help companies understand their reporting obligations under section 14 of the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act, which requires that sellers, distributors, importers, and manufacturers report after becoming aware of any health or safety incident involving a consumer product. Notably, the guidance clarifies (1) what constitutes a reportable “incident,” (2)

California state law bill SB 763 has stayed relatively under the radar since its introduction in February 2015.  However, with recent traction in the state legislature – including passage in the Senate in June and passage in three Assembly Committees in July – this bill is definitely worth a second look.

SB 763 would require manufacturers of “juvenile products” sold in California to include a statement on the product’s label whether or not the product contains added flame retardant chemicals.  A “juvenile product” would be defined as a product subject to California’s Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation Act,[1] and intended for use by infants and children under 12.  Covered products would include not only bassinets, floor play mats, crib mattresses, infant bouncers, and infant and booster seats which are used by infants and children, but also products intended for use by adults which the child or infant may come in contact with.  This includes, for example, nursing pads, nursing pillows, infant carriers, and changing table pads.

The bill would require manufacturers to affix the following lengthy labeling statement on covered juvenile products sold in California, and indicate the absence or presence of added flame retardant chemicals by marking a “X” in the applicable space below:

The State of California has determined that this product does not pose a serious fire hazard. The state has identified many flame retardant chemicals as being known to, or strongly suspected of, adversely impacting human health or development.
The fabric, filling, and plastic parts of this product:
_____contains added flame retardant chemicals
_____contains NO added flame retardant chemicals

Additionally, the bill imposes recordkeeping requirements, allows the CA Department of Toxic Substances Control to test products labeled as containing no added flame retardant chemicals for compliance, and permits fines ranging from $2,500 to $15,000 for mislabeling and other violations.

In the past few years, flame retardant chemicals have been highly scrutinized by consumer advocates.  According to the bill’s author, “[g]rowing evidence show(s) that many fire retardant chemicals have serious human and environmental health impacts, including cancer, decreased fertility, hormone disruption, lower IQ, and hyperactivity.”

Although the bill’s intentions are honorable – i.e., to provide parents with information needed to choose safe and healthy products for their children – the reality is that the bill would impose additional requirements on products already regulated by the CPSC, impose costly and burdensome labeling requirements on businesses, and may actually undermine consumer confidence in covered products.

As noted by Anne Northup, Former Congresswoman and Former U.S. CPSC Commissioner, “[i]magine the confusion from expectant parents shopping for needed items when they see that the high chair is labeled as being free of flame-retardants and the crib mattress being labeled as containing them. What are they to conclude about which product is safe?”


Continue Reading