Bill requires listing all product ingredients on the web

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, Dec. 21, 2007 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

Last spring Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) "gut and amended" SB 509 to require manufacturers and wholesalers of consumer products to maintain a website by March 31, 2008 and post the ingredient content of all products they make down to levels of 0.1% or more of the total product.  It is now scheduled to be heard on January 7th   in the Senate Environmental Quality Committee, chaired by Senator Simitian.  

This bill does not require the listing of just hazardous or toxic substances, but all ingredients.  There is no provision for confidentiality.  

In addition, many smaller companies that cannot economically justify the costs to set-up and maintain a website would be forced to do so in order to comply with the requirements of this bill.

A number of large manufacturers have questioned the feasibility of putting the hundreds of products that they make on the web and keeping the information up-to-date as they change suppliers.  They are concerned about potential litigation as they attempt in good faith to comply.  Electronics manufacturers wonder who would be responsible for reporting when parts of a final product are made by different manufacturers and then sold as a unit.  Currently, the bill does not include an enforcement provision.  California environmental regulators are already challenged in their attempts to regulate internet sales and foreign manufacturers.   

Also, the timing of the bill is wrong.  Cal EPA’s Department of Toxic Substance Control is now setting up a Green Chemistry program.  This year they have been holding workshops during to determine the potential scope of the program, and will soon hear comments from the public on the feasibility and impacts of different alternatives.  DTSC’s goal is to make recommendations by July 1, 2008.  An oversight panel of scientists has been formed to assist and assure that the recommendations are effective, needed and based on sound science. SB 509 would prejudge the outcome of this deliberative process.

For these reasons, CMTA will oppose the bill.  

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