On Wednesday, April 9, 2014, I had the pleasure of delivering the keynote address at the annual conference of the Fashion Jewelry & Accessories Trade Association (FJATA). Over the years, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and FJATA have enjoyed a long and positive working relationship, and I was honored to speak to the organization and answer questions from its membership.
Participating in the conference was a great opportunity for me to hear from FJATA’s members - who include manufacturers, suppliers, and retailers - about how they are affected by what is happening at CPSC. It also gave me a chance to share with them my philosophy and approach to the challenging issues we deal with at the agency.
Among FJATA’s issues of concern before the Commission are test burden reduction, import safety, the 1110 rule, changes to the 6(b) rule and standard, and the proposed regulation for voluntary recalls. In addition, FJATA’s members expressed their concerns with conflicting state and federal children’s jewelry standards. With states implementing varying standards, FJATA membership expressed that it is increasingly difficult to do business in the children’s jewelry trade and that the lack of one standard is causing industry, jobs, and consumer choice to suffer.
The fashion jewelry industry worked diligently with CPSC and consumer groups to create the voluntary ASTM F2923-11 Standard Specification for Consumer Product Safety for Children’s Jewelry. FJATA is pressing states across the county to adopt ASTM F2923 as their standard requirement for children’s jewelry. Additionally, FJATA continues to urge CPSC to encourage states to accept the voluntary standard in lieu of their own, different requirements.
I appreciated hearing FJATA’s insight on issues of importance before the Commission and expressed my interest in working toward solutions that provide relief to the fashion industry while ensuring consumer safety.
I thank FJATA for the opportunity to speak at their conference. I often state how important it is to bring all stakeholders to the table so that we can work together to advance the culture of product safety in a positive and meaningful way. That is why speaking to organizations like FJATA is so important; it opens the channels of communication so that we may better understand one another and strengthen our working relationship to achieve the shared goal of consumer safety.