What’s happening at the Consumer Product Safety Commission?
July 14, 2017, National Law Review (Keller and Heckman LLP)
Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle reports on status of activities at the agency as the Commission has approved its FY 2017 Mid-Year Review and Proposed Operations Plan Adjustments. Top priority has been given a project concerning improving the safety of lithium ion batteries. In addition, CPSC is interested in hearing ideas that might help ease regulatory burdens, including comments on third party testing, eliminating or updating a rule, changing a practice, and providing guidance. Comments on how to reduce regulatory burdens may be submitted electronically. The deadline is September 30, 2017.

CPSC Commissioner Marietta Robinson: Working together to be safer
July, 2017, cpsc.gov
Commissioner Robinson appeals to stakeholders in the product safety community to make their views known at upcoming hearings: On Tuesday, July 25, 2017, the agency hosts a free Recall Effectiveness Workshop at 10:00 a.m. EST to find potential ways to improve the effectiveness of consumer product recalls. On Wednesday, July 26, 2017, the CPSC will host its Annual Agenda and Priorities Hearing at 10:00 a.m. EST. The purpose of this hearing to receive views from any and all interested parties about what the Commission’s agenda and priorities should be for 2018 and 2019

CPSC Commissioner Elliot Kaye: Effective product recalls protect consumer safety
July 19, 2017, cpsc.gov
The Commissioner sets forth six principles that can help companies increase the effectiveness of their product recalls, while protecting consumers at the same time. Among the leading positions he urges industry to consider are: make it simple, make it fast, and make it free.

Wrap up of federal and state chemical regulatory developments, July 2017
July 17, 2017 JDSupra (Bergson & Campbell PC)
The EPA has released final test guidelines for performance against bed bugs, and has set final TSCA framework rules including the prioritization process rules. In addition a nonprofit organization filed a complaint against EPA in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. The complaint asks the court to compel EPA to provide information in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request “seeking communications between certain individuals at each agency and certain outside entities related to chlorpyrifos or other pesticides.”

Opinion: Putting the public at risk
July 21, 2017, Scientific American
Writers of this article charge that the Trump Administration and the 115th Congress are working around the clock to dismantle policies and the law such as passed in 1962 that largely saved the U.S. from tragic consequences as those faced by thousands of Europeans due to the thalidomide drug that caused severe and, in many cases, fatal birth defects in babies born to mothers taking the drug. According to the authors the administration is doing this “through legislation, through dismissing scientific advice, and by eliminating the structures that enable us to make science-based decisions.”

AHFA American Home Furnishings Alliance: Revises 2017 Regulatory Summit Agenda
July 21, 2017, 4-Traders.com
The American Home Furnishings Alliance (AHFA) has revised its 2017 Regulatory Summit agenda to address a growing volume of questions concerning the new Formaldehyde Emission Standard for Composite Wood Products, as well as increasing concern over recent and coming changes in California’s Proposition 65 labeling requirements.

Progress on product safety – UK Government publishes recommendations of its Working Group
July 2, 2017, Baker McKenzie, Global Compliance News
The tragic Grenfell Tower fire on 14 June brings into sharp focus the importance of having an effective product safety system in place, with clear guidance for manufacturers, high levels of engagement from consumers and sufficient resource to help and support regulatory authorities. A report has been issued from a government Working Group on Product Recalls and Safety set up in October 2016 to develop options to improve the system of product recalls and safety. A key recommendations made by the Working Group is to work with the British Standards Institute (“BSI“) to create a Code of Practice for businesses and regulators on best practices for corrective action.

Hackers can hijack your connected hover boards
July 19, 2017, CNET
Though not as serious as taking over a connected car or wired set of kitchen appliances, a hacked hover board can lead to amusing but painful hijinks.Researchers at cyber a security company figured out last year how to hack the Bluetooth connection and hijack a hover board made by Segway. This enabled the researchers to control the hover board from up to 200 feet away.

 No delay for Proposition 65 listing of glyphosate
July 21, 2017, National Law Review (Keller and Heckman LLP)
For the past several months, Monsanto has been in court challenging California’s decision to add the chemical glyphosate—the active ingredient in its herbicide Roundup—to the Proposition 65 list. It recently faced a setback when the California Supreme Court rejected Monsanto’s request to stay a lower court’s decision to include glyphosate among the 960 chemicals on the list.  California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) wasted no time after the decision and added glyphosate to the list on July 7, 2017.

EESC urges EU to fight fake products
July 19, 2017, New Europe
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has called on the European Union to update, harmonize and strengthen the current regulatory framework to combat the production of counterfeit goods within the bloc. “If we do not act now, we risk multilateral problems such as failure in research, innovation and investment, damage to image and quality, risks to health, safety and the environment, loss of fiscal and para-fiscal revenues, and failure to tackle organized crime,” according to the EESC report author, highlighting some of the consequences of inaction.

VW’s settlement in emissions scandal reaches $1.3 billion
July 20, 2017, Minneapolis Star Tribune
California says Volkswagen will pay the state another $154 million in penalties and costs over the automaker’s emissions scandal. California’s Air Resources Board says the increase in a consent decree filed Thursday brings VW’s total settlement in California to $1.3 billion. Volkswagen Group of America acknowledges rigging 11 million of its vehicles with software used to cheat on vehicle emissions tests.


The product safety profession as we know it today can trace its heritage back to the introduction of the Consumer Product Safety Act in 1972, and the establishment of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
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