The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has approved a proposal that would amend a regulation that implements Section 6(b) of the Consumer Product Safety Act, governing CPSC’s disclosure of product information to the public. Addi- tional details about the proposal appear in the February 6, 2014, issue of this Report. During its February 12, 2014, meeting, the commission approved the proposal by a 2-1 vote along party lines after rejecting several amendments proposed by the minority commissioners. Republican Commissioner Ann Marie Buerkle reportedly argued during the hearing that CPSC lacks the authority to change Section 6(b) and claimed that the proposal does so.
According to Acting Chair Robert Adler, approved amendments clarify that (i) the agency may not disseminate unfair or inaccurate information, despite exemptions for “publicly available information”from Section 6(b)’s scope; (ii) the “reasonable person” standard used to determine whether product-related information falls under Section 6(b) errs in favor of providing public notice; (iii) the scope of information “obtained by CPSC”under Section 6(b) has not been narrowed; and (iv) requiring manufacturers to justify a request to withhold their comments reflects an interest in balance. See Bloomberg BNA Product Safety & Liability Reporter™ and Law360, February 12, 2014.