Cheers for a New U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Rule That Exposes Renegade Manufacturers to Greater Civil Penalties

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) voted last week to approve (4-1) a final rule interpreting factors to be considered when seeking a civil penalty amount for knowing violations of CPSC laws.

The new factors required to be considered are: (1) the nature, circumstances, extent, and gravity of the violation, including the nature of the product defect or the substance; (2) the appropriateness of the penalty in relation to the size of the business or of the person charged, including how to mitigate undue adverse economic impacts on small businesses; and (3) other factors as appropriate.

These factors are … Read the rest

Will Congress Pass First Major Consumer Product Legislation in 18 Years?

Recent U.S. Senate approval, by a vote of 79 to 13, of a measure to overhaul the country’s consumer product laws and strengthen the Consumer Product Safety Commission that oversees the marketplace, moved Congress closer to passing the first major legislation in 18 years regulating dangerous products.

However, the Senate bill bears many more teeth than the version the House unanimously passed in December, 2007. While on one hand some consumer advocates consider the House version to be a sop to industry, on the other hand the House bill is endorsed by the White House and by major manufacturers, and … Read the rest

Top U.S. Official for Protecting Consumer Product Safety Wants LESS Money and Clout to Enforce Consumer Protection Laws Than Senate Committee Approves

In an attempt to rectify problems and ensure the safety of our children, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation voted yesterday to approve a bill which would overhaul federal standards on consumer products, and includes vital whistle-blower provisions to protect employees who report consumer safety violations. Yet notwithstanding the widely reported recalls of children’s products and the real risks posed to consumers, the top U.S. official for consumer product safety, Nancy A. Nord, the acting chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), had asked Congress in recent days to reject the legislation.

Thus far this year, Read the rest