Retail Leaders Meet on Product Safety

RILA recently held the fall meeting of its Consumer Products Committee (CPC) in Washington, D.C. Highlights from the two-day event include a visit to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) headquarters to meet with senior agency officials, a tour of the CPSC Lab, and educational presentations and peer benchmarking sessions.

Day 1 – Attendees Engage with CPSC

Touring the CPSC Lab
The first day of RILA’s CPC fall meeting kicked off with a tour of the CPSC Lab. Andy Stadnik, Associate Executive Director of Laboratory Services, welcomed members into the labs with an overview of the lab’s role within the CPSC and its daily operations. During the tour, attendees witnessed state of the art testing equipment used in flammability, mechanical, chemical, electrical, and behavioral product testing.

The highlights of the tour included:
  • 3D electrical imaging displaying item composition
  • A video demo of mattress flammability testing
  • A full-size testing pool used to determine drain cap suction
  • Various machinery used to test maximum force for objects such as helmets
  • A visual demonstration of various defective children’s toys and explanations to why they failed testing
Meeting with Senior CPSC Officials

After the lab tour, attendees visited the CPSC Headquarters to meet with senior department leaders.
Rob Kaye, Director of Compliance, reviewed some of the recent significant staffing changes at the Commission, and detailed Compliance Department initiatives, as well as changes included in the new CPSC Compliance Department Handbook.

Jim Joholske, Director of the Office of Import Surveillance, and John Blachere, International Trade Specialist, Office of Surveillance, updated attendees on the CPSC’s import compliance focus areas, including the new two-way messaging system to facilitate quicker CPSC communication with the CBP personnel at the ports.

Day 2 – Educational Presentations on Emerging Hot Topics and Benchmarking Sessions

RILA Experts Discuss Emerging Hot Topics

Day 2 kicked off with presentations from the RILA team on relevant issues. Brennan Duckett, Senior Manager, Government Affairs highlighted RILA’s Open Innovation Pilot Program and its mission to connect RILA members to new technologies, leading startups, and other players within the innovation ecosystem, as well as to foster innovation within member companies.

Attendees then had the opportunity to discuss consumer product compliance-related challenges affecting their companies and the potential future Open Innovation Challenges to find solutions.

Brian Rose, Director, State Affairs and Advocacy focused on a new emerging consumer product compliance challenge, consumer privacy, and the recent California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). He provided an overview of the law, current compliance challenges, and potential future amendments. Brennan followed with a discussion of a potential federal privacy legislation including  an overview of congressional considerations and key legislation provisions.

Joe Williamson, Director, Government Affairs, gave an overview of the legislative landscape for CBD, an emerging issue as retailers seek to sell new consumer products incorporating CBD. Joe went into detail on the THC level required to classify a product as CBD, how CBD came to be legalized through the 2018 Farm Bill, the extent that CBD endorsement and use has become more widely accepted in culture, and how the Food and Drug Administration and Congress will set guidelines for the manufacture and sale of CBD products.
Mintz Levin Discusses the Significant Changes within the CPSC and potential legislation
Matt Howsare and Chuck Samuels, Partners at Mintz Levin did a deep dive into the current leadership challenges at the CPSC. They discussed what members can expect under Acting Chairman Bob Adler’s leadership and the Commission operating under a 2-2 split between Republicans and Democrats. Matt and Chuck also covered the numerous staffing changes at the Commission resulting from the departure of former Acting Chair Ann Marie Buerkle from the CPSC. They ended the session with an update on upcoming legislation to monitor relating to Section 9 and Section 6(b) self-reporting.

Open Peer Benchmarking Discussion

The Fall 2019 CPC Meeting concluded with a peer benchmarking session. Topics members discussed included:

  • Prop 65
  • CPSC e-filing
  • Department of Homeland Security’s efforts to develop legislation for precursor explosive materials
  • TSCA Formaldehyde documentation requirements
  • 1080 Senate Bill – Ban on single use plastics
  • Procedures for textile retention
  • Oregon’s ban on vaping

RILA thanks the Consumer Product Safety Commission for graciously hosting RILA members on the first day of the meeting and to our sponsor, Mintz Levin, for hosting the group on the second.

For more information regarding RILA’s Consumer Product Committee contact Kathleen McGuigan, EVP & Deputy GC, at

Stay in the know

Subscribe to our newsletter