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President signs bill to expand CPSC spending, authority

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.)


That's quite a claim for any piece of legislation.

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.