PPAI Webinar To Address Federal Legislation
PPAI, Irving, Texas, will conduct a free Webinar on Wed., Aug. 16 at 10 a.m. (CDT) to update industry practitioners about new legislative opportunities to preempt Proposition 65 and address the current prohibition on the sale and distribution of certain promotional products in the state of California.
According to PPAI personnel, the United States Senate is currently debating a bill that will provide federal guidelines and stop enforcement for some limited products and provide federal guidelines for Proposition 65, the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, approved by California voters in 1986. The initial purpose of Proposition 65 was to protect California citizens and the state’s drinking water sources from chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm, and to inform citizens about exposures to such chemicals. However, the “significant risk level” as determined by the state of California is often so low that the effects of Proposition 65 are significantly more far-reaching than most Californians likely imagined at the time of passage.
“Congress needs to step in and take control of the safety and health regulation chaos of decorated products, such as glassware and ceramic products associated with food,” said Steve Slagle, PPAI president. “Specifically, we call on the Senate to pass S. 3128, the National Uniformity For Food Act. We urge all U.S.-based members of the promotional products industry to immediately urge their Senators to support this legislation.”
To date, distributors conducting business in California have been threatened with penalties, forced to refuse shipments of products and lost business because their clients refuse to accept products that may be in violation of the law. Additionally, suppliers, particularly those that manufacture ceramic and glassware products, have forfeited thousands of dollars in lost business and have been forced to comply with state guidelines and specifications.
The impact of Proposition 65 is not limited to California, however. Even when the entire distribution chain is based outside of California and one promotional item ships to California, all parties involved, i.e., suppliers, distributors and end-users, are potentially liable under the terms of the proposition.
“While S. 3128 is not a solution for everyone, it does address one of the most immediate and pressing problems, providing a federal mechanism that overrides the California Proposition 65 approach to regulating products that come in contact with food,” continued Slagle. “As some in our industry have learned, it is not just a California-based distributor or supplier problem or simply a problem for suppliers. Distributors throughout the country have been notified of potential violations, and several have been threatened with penalties or had to settle disputes in court.”
For more information, call (972) 258-3041 or visit www.ppa.org.