Recently, we wrote about how the impending presidential election might affect the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), and specifically what might happen with the Commission’s current vacancy and the two more (at least[1]) that will arise during the next presidential term. Now we’ll take a look at how the upcoming congressional elections may also affect the CPSC and the companies it regulates.
Continue Reading Safety on the Hill: Prospects for CPSC Overhaul in the 117th Congress

In this two-part series, we take a close look at the uncertainties facing the U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). This post examines how the ongoing difficulties in confirming CPSC nominees creates an existential threat for the agency, and we look at the game plans a President Biden or re-elected President Trump could use to overcome those difficulties and keep the lights on at the CPSC. Our first post analyzed the difficulties facing nominees.

Continue Reading Lingering Uncertainties Facing the CPSC: Election Contingency Plans

From apparel companies that have shifted from making clothing to making face masks, to distilleries and breweries that are now producing hand sanitizer, to consumer goods and auto makers manufacturing ventilators and respirators, manufacturers nationwide have shifted their production lines to meet what consumers need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Continue Reading Retooling in the Midst of COVID-19: Statutory Protections for Manufacturers

In this two-part series, we take a close look at the uncertainties facing the U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). This post analyzes the difficulties surrounding President Trump’s current CPSC nominee and discusses how the agency would be effective if confirmations remain elusive. In post 2, we will examine how the November election might affect the odds of a confirmation next year – and the risks to the agency if the post remains unfilled.
Continue Reading Lingering Uncertainties Facing the CPSC: If Not Beck, Then Who?

Yesterday, the Senate Commerce Committee held a confirmation hearing for Dr. Nancy Beck, who was nominated to be a commissioner and chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Perhaps unsurprisingly, Dr. Beck faced significant skepticism from Democratic members of the committee. However, she also had a tense exchange with Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R, W. Va.) regarding Dr. Beck’s prior work with the Environmental Protection Agency and the White House.
Continue Reading CPSC Chair Nominee Facing Bipartisan Opposition

Much like the rest of the world, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and its constituents and stakeholders are trying to determine how to operate amid the historic disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some CPSC functions – particularly staff-driven operations like recalls – are functioning reasonably well even with a dispersed, telecommuting workforce. But other matters – especially the policy questions that commissioners must answer – present a greater challenge. Nonetheless, the agency is finding ways for its four commissioners to fulfill their responsibilities despite the hurdles.
Continue Reading Despite COVID, CPSC Policy Discussions Forging Ahead – Sort Of

With the clean beauty movement on the rise, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has started to pay closer attention to how companies label and market personal care products. Although the FTC does not have its own definition of the term “organic,” it can bring enforcement actions based on allegedly false or deceptive advertisement of products labelled as “organic” under standards promulgated by other agencies.
Continue Reading Not So Organic: The FTC Takes Action Against Personal Care Products

With the disruptions wrought by COVID-19, companies are working hard just to keep pace with daily activities. But, as we wrote previously, companies still must meet their regulatory obligations – including obligations to report potential product hazards to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). That may require additional effort in the current environment.

Continue Reading COVID-19 or Not, CPSC Keeps Chugging Along

With consumers attempting to navigate quarantine and “shelter-in-place” orders, businesses that sell basic necessities are facing overwhelming demand.

This new level of demand is placing stress on both businesses that sell basic necessities and their employees. Many businesses are experiencing increased overall customer service inquiries, call volume, and website orders. They are needing to meet increased consumer demand while making unprecedented provisions for their own employees’ health and well-being (which we have written about here and here).


Continue Reading Five Effective Ways Companies Can Communicate with Customers During COVID-19

Current thinking from public health experts is that COVID-19 will affect the American economy for several months. But during this period businesses still have responsibilities to their brands and obligations under law. And unlike during last year’s government shutdown, the pandemic has forced government agencies like the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to operate differently, but it hasn’t closed its doors. For that reason, businesses will still have legal obligations and face the possibility of CPSC enforcement efforts.

Here are three steps companies can take to protect their brands and reduce the risk of CPSC enforcement.
Continue Reading COVID-19: Three Steps Companies Can Take to Reduce Risk of Regulatory Side Effects