On January 25, 2024, Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) and Sen. Peter Welch (D-Vt.), introduced the Consumer Advocacy and Protection (CAP) Act in the U.S. House of Representatives (HR 7096) and U.S. Senate (S 3667). The CAP Act aims to deter companies from committing safety violations by increasing CPSC’s penalty authority.

Under current law, manufacturers, importers, and distributors of consumer products are required to report immediately to the CPSC information that reasonably supports the conclusion that a product contains a defect that could create a substantial product hazard or an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death. If violations occur, the applicable civil penalty is a maximum of $100,000 per individual violation and $15,000,000 for a series of related violations. These amounts were adjusted for inflation in 2021, reaching $120,000 per violation and $17,150,000 for a series of related violations.

Continue Reading New Bill Could Mean Higher Penalties for Failure to Report Safety Concerns

As we enter 2024, the FTC is pushing forward on all fronts. The Bureau of Consumer Protection announced both settlements and actions, especially related to telemarketing and robocalls, as well as automotive industry junk fees and illegal uses of consumer location data. And, the FTC has scheduled a summit on Artificial Intelligence on January 25. This, and more, after the jump.

Continue Reading FTC Updates (January 1 – January 19, 2024)

On February 27, Meshach Rhoades will speak at the Consumer Brands CPG Legal Forum on the panel, “State Action: Complying with a New Environment of Packaging and Chemical Laws.” This discussion will explore packaging proposals centered on recyclability and chemical bans that have created new compliance requirements for CPG companies. Panelists will offer a bicoastal view of proposals encompassing operational considerations and claims.

The Consumer Brands CPG Legal Forum is curated by experts in the CPG industry and covers household, personal care, food and beverage, dietary supplements, pet food and OTC products.

For many years, personal care companies have used a wide variety of ingredients that are now under scrutiny. Recently, Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have received increased attention. Once intentionally added to products, several state laws ban or modify the total amount of these ingredients permitted in various products. Now, a new bill introduced in U.S. Congress late last year aims to follow suit.

Continue Reading What’s In and What’s Out? Cosmetic Companies Face Ingredient Compliance Conundrum

Enacted in 2022, Reese’s Law (P.L. 117-171) mandates federal safety requirements for button cell or coin batteries. This law mandates various requirements for button cell or coin batteries as well as consumer products that have or can use such batteries. The requirements range from performance to labeling and certification. Our team’s previous blog posts on Reese’s Law can be found here and here.

Continue Reading CPSC to Hold January 2024 Webinar on Reese’s Law and Button Cell and Coin Battery Requirements

The FTC has been active despite being in the midst of the holiday season. The Commission and the DOJ released its 2023 Merger Guidelines as well as a FY 2022 report detailing data on the HSR Premerger Notification Program. The Bureau of Consumer Protection was also active this week. It announced a new report summarizing key takeaways from an October 2023 roundtable examining the impact of generative artificial intelligence. The Commission also announced a new notice of proposed rulemaking and an extension to an existing proposed rulemaking related to consumer protection issues. These stories and more after the jump.

Continue Reading FTC Updates (December 18 – December 29, 2023)

Since the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) published its updated 2023 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising earlier this year, consumer reviews have been front of mind. This guidance covers, in part, the treatment of consumer reviews, and companies have been (or should be) preparing for an uptick in FTC enforcement. But it’s not just the FTC to watch out for. A recent wave of class actions arising under California Civil Code § 1670.8 related to a customer’s right to make statements about their experience with a seller has raised the bar for retailers to another level.

Continue Reading I Can’t Say What? New Wave of Class Actions Target Consumer Review Terms & Conditions