The Washington Post (6/8, Kindy) reports that a “series of compromises” between Congress and the auto industry over the auto safety bill that will force the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) “to set and enforce stricter standards,” citing “weaknesses” in NHTSA’s oversight of automakers. The bill, which could see action in both the House and the Senate this week, would compel NHTSA “to set standards for the first time on electric components in vehicles, increase penalties for automakers who lie or mislead the agency about safety defects and bar agency officials hired by automakers from working with the agency for three years.” The Post further reports that earlier drafts of the bill have been softened after auto industry groups complained that its deadlines were unrealistic. Okun, Oddo & Babat will continue to update you on this very important bill.
The New York Times (5/28, B1, Singer) reports that McNeil Consumer Healthcare, the division of Johnson & Johnson that recalled millions of bottles of liquid children’s Tylenol, “may face criminal penalties, product seizures, or other sanctions, an official from the Food and Drug Administration said Thursday.” At a Congressional hearing yesterday, the principal deputy commissioner at the FDA, Joshua Sharfstein, said that the agency found “a pattern of violations in manufacturing and quality control practices” that “led to a number of recent recalls.”
Following revelations at the hearing that McNeil hired contractors to buy the products under orders not to mention the word ‘recall,’ the chairwomen of Johnson & Johnson’s consumer division, Colleen Goggins, apologized “to the mothers and fathers and caregivers for the concern and inconvenience” caused by the recall. Los Angeles Times (5/28, Zajac)