The President today signed into law H.R. 4040, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008. No bill signing ceremony.
This ConsumerAffairs.com account highlights provisions that many in the business world believe will invite new waves of expensive litigation: "The bill also will create the first comprehensive publicly accessible consumer complaint database, give the CPSC new resources to protect the public, increase civil penalties that CPSC can assess against violators of CPSC laws, and protect whistleblowers who report product safety defects." Along with additional enforcement authority for state attorneys general, and you've got a full banquet table to serve the plaintiff's bar. The database, in particular, is a great place to attack companies' reputations and gin up a public scare.
Activists also hail the ban on phthalates, which as we've noted previously represents a major step toward establishing the precautionary principle as the new regulatory standard in the United States. (For more on that topic, see these Shopfloor.org posts.)
- Consumer Reports, "President signs landmark product safety bill into law"
- House Speaker Pelosi statement, including, "I was proud to gavel in this session of Congress by calling it to order in the name of all of America's children. With this new law, the New Direction Congress is honoring its promises to our children by keeping their toys and products safe."
- MarketWatch, "Bush signs product-safety overhaul into law"
- ABC News, "New Toy Safety Standards Become Law." The title of the webpage is: "ABC News: New Law Means More Ellies Won't Die"
That's quite a claim for any piece of legislation.