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Product Safety Regulations, Liability and Tort Law

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1. Analyze the ways in which the U.S. government regulates product safety and make at least one recommendation for how the regulatory approach of one of the agencies discussed (FDA, CPSC, or NHTSA) could be improved.

2. Review "The Ford Pinto Case" and discuss whether tort or wrong-doing was committed.

3. Analyze the issues considered under both contract law and tort law, and make at least one recommendation for improving the way manufacturer liability is litigated. Provide specific examples to support your response.

4. Consider the "Alternative Approach" to combating five consumer products (alcohol, tobacco, guns, motor vehicles, and junk food) and determine whether you agree or disagree with the approach suggested.

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1. Analyze the ways in which the U.S. government regulates product safety and make at least one recommendation for how the regulatory approach of one of the agencies discussed (FDA, CPSC, or NHTSA) could be improved.

There exist far too many individual ways to regulate product safety within the federal government. Therefore, I will place attention on an individual set of products and how the Food and Drug Administration regulates this product. In addition I will propose a way for this regulation to be vastly improved.

The Regulation of Cosmetics:

Cosmetic products and ingredients currently do not require approval by the FDA before going to market with the exception being color additives (other than those used in most hair dyes). Individuals and companies must ensure that they have safe products for sale and consumption. There exists monitoring that is done by the FDA of safety products with the FDA possessing the capability to bring criminal charges against companies who put out unsafe products. In addition the FDA can ask a federal court to issue an injunction, use the U.S. Marshals to retrieve and seize products, refuse entry of imported cosmetics and recall products when companies are not in compliance with the law (FDA, 2012).

Currently the use of voluntary self-regulation by the FDA towards the cosmetics industry is placing customers in jeopardy. Therefore, I propose that citizens and the industry endorse a bill introduced by several Democratic senators. The Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011 would enable the FDA to ensure that any ingredients within these products are fully disclosed as well as that the products are free of harmful ingredients (Safe Cosmetics, 2012).

This Act would require the removal of ingredients linked to cancer, birth defects, and developmental harm, eliminate legal loopholes by requiring companies to fully disclose ingredients on product labels, and include safety standards that protect children, elderly citizens, workers, and other traditionally vulnerable populations. A final recommendation is for ...

Solution Summary

This solution examines the tort law in the United States while also explaining the precedent setting Ford Pinto Case in regard to tort law.

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