Topic: Recent legislation and regulations

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FDA calorie and nutrition labels foreshadow possible global standards

The US Food and Drug Administration finalized its rules requiring the listing of calorie information on menus and menu boards of certain food sellers. The rules apply to chains with at least 20 units operating under the same name (irrespective of the ownership structure) and vending machines with at least 20 locations. The new rules … Continue reading

Countdown begins on the California Consumer Product Emissions Survey

We are just two short weeks away from the opening of data submission for the California Air Resources Board Consumer Products Survey. Although the survey formally launched in September, ARB has continued to work on its submission tool and providing guidance to industry on compliance in order to begin accepting survey data once the ball … Continue reading

Gift card regulations pose daunting compliance challenges

Gift cards are a mainstay of retail sales, especially during the holidays when frantic shoppers are looking for easy, last-minute gift solutions. Retailers often benefit from regulating gift certificates and gift cards by adding expiration dates and dormancy fees. But in many states, these practices can run afoul of consumer protection statutes. Restrictions on gift … Continue reading

Lights out! New mercury-containing light fee about to take effect in Washington

After a series of false starts, Washington’s mercury-containing lights product stewardship law will take effect on January 1, 2015. Under the law, all mercury-containing lights sold in the state of Washington must include a product stewardship fee to finance their environmental handling and recycling. Producers, wholesalers and retailers are prohibited from selling mercury-containing lights for … Continue reading

Proposition 65: OEHHA’S proposed revisions to warning regulations

In March 2014, OEHHA began the rulemaking process to amend the Clear and Reasonable Warning requirements for California’s Proposition 65. The proposed changes caused a great deal of concern for manufacturers, distributors, and retailers doing business in California. On September 23, 2014, OEHHA circulated a revised draft to some of the stakeholders. While the proposed … Continue reading

Unhappy Thanksgiving: Don’t let Maine children’s product reporting deadline spoil your turkey

Perhaps as a reminder to manufacturers and importers of just how difficult the winter of 1621 was for the pilgrims, the day after Thanksgiving is the reporting deadline for certain children’s products containing cadmium, mercury, or arsenic under the Maine Safer Chemicals in Children’s Products Act (38 M.R.S. § 1691 et seq.). Unlike the Washington … Continue reading

UPDATE: California agency issues guidance on new furniture flammability labeling law

Updating our prior discussion on California’s new labeling law regarding flame retardants in furniture, the California Bureau of Electronics & Appliance Repair, Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation (BEARHFTI) has issued industry guidance and an FAQ expressing the Bureau’s understanding of the requirements. The industry guidance is brief, confirming that the labeling law becomes effective January … Continue reading

Update on California Consumer Product Emissions Survey

Updating our prior discussion of the California Air Resources Board Consumer Products Survey, ARB continues to forge ahead with the 2013 consumer products survey, providing additional guidance to industry. On October 14, 2014, the Board published an updated FAQ and information on updates to the survey data upload tool, CPRT. The Board also updated the … Continue reading

E-cigarette flavor found to contain chemical associated with lung disease

A recent investigation conducted by the BBC has concluded that an e-cigarette flavoring purchased in Northeast England contained a potentially harmful chemical that has been associated with the lung condition known as “popcorn worker’s lung.” The British television program, Inside Out, purchased four liquid refills for the e-cigarettes and sent them for laboratory testing. While three … Continue reading

California remains on forefront of US human trafficking regulation

California continued its commitment to combatting human trafficking, as Governor Jerry Brown recently signed seven new anti-trafficking laws during the 2014 legislative session. While the majority of these laws focus on criminal activity (for example, increasing criminal penalties and expanding the reach of law enforcement in cases of trafficking), SB 477 adds to California legislation … Continue reading

California labeling law complements furniture flammability changes

In conjunction with changes to California upholstered furniture flammability regulations, commonly referred to as TB-117, the state recently enacted complementary legislation requiring that furniture “law labels” disclose whether the products contain flame retardant chemicals. California’s flammability requirements Prior to 2014, California flammability requirements for upholstered furniture, set forth in California Bureau of Home Furnishings and … Continue reading

California Governor signs first ever state plastic bag ban

California’s Governor Jerry Brown signed the nation’s first state plastic bag ban into law on September 30, 2014. The law prohibits “stores”—supermarkets, groceries, retail stores that sell food or contain pharmacies, and convenience stores that also sell liquor—from providing single-use carryout bags to customers at the point of sale. It also requires that stores offer … Continue reading

OEHHA signals reforms to Proposition 65 regulations

In the wake of the Governor Brown’s failed effort to get substantive Proposition 65 reform, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assert (OEHHA) signaled that it is still interested in reforming the law by revising the regulations under its jurisdiction. On September 16, 2014, OEHHA issued a request for public comment on changes it is … Continue reading

New California consumer product emissions survey launched

On September 2, 2014, the California Air Resources Board launched its 2013 Consumer and Commercial Products Survey. The Survey requires “Responsible Parties” to report ingredient information, including the volatile organic compound (VOC) composition, for impacted consumer products sold in California from 2013-2015.  Impacted products range from air fresheners to antiperspirants to hair care products. ARB will use the … Continue reading

Senate creates confusion with recall reporting bill

Senator Richard Blumenthal has introduced legislation, S.2615, known as the “Hide No Harm Bill,” that adds criminal liability to existing penalties for a company’s failure to immediately report to the applicable federal agency a known danger caused by a product.  While the language of S.2615 does not single out any particular product, if passed, its … Continue reading