Mandatory Recall Notices
Get New Guidelines

     WASHINGTON (CN) - The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a rule establishing guidelines and requirements for mandatory recall notices.
     The rule contains the agency's interpretation of information which must appear on mandatory recall notices ordered by the agency or a U.S. district court under certain sections of the Consumer Product Safety Act. The rule also contains agency guidelines for additional information that the agency or a court may order to be included on a mandatory recall notice.
     The notices must present the actual and potential hazards associated with the product, along with further information. They also must include all the remedies available.
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FDIC Seeks Comments
on Risk in Employee Pay

     WASHINGTON (CN) - The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation is requesting comments regarding whether it should penalize insured institutions with higher Deposit Insurance Fund assessments when it determines they have risky employee compensation plans.
     The FDIC maintains that it is not attempting to eliminate any particular compensation plan through increased rate assessment but it does recognize the "broad consensus that some compensation structures misalign incentives and induce imprudent risk" by rewarding "...employees based on short-term results without full consideration of the longer-term risks to the firm."
     The Federal Deposit Insurance Act requires that a depository institution's deposit insurance assessment must be based on the probability that the Deposit Insurance Fund will incur a loss, the amount of any loss, and the revenue needs of the DIF. In 2009 employee compensation plans were cited as a contributing factor in an institution's failure in 35 percent of the agency's investigations.
     The agency hopes that using assessment rates will provide incentives for insured institutions to adopt compensation programs that align employees' interests with those of the institution's other stakeholders.
     According to the agency, such compensation plans would limit stock awards to restricted, non-discounted companies that would be available at intervals over a period of years after an employee meets multi-year performance goals. The agency also believes that any cash bonuses or stock awards should be subject to so-called "clawback" provisions in case the performance a bonus is based on later proves to have been illusory or deceptive.

Hearings To Be Held on Cook Inlet Whale Habitat

     WASHINGTON (CN) - The National Marine Fisheries Service will hold four public meetings to allow public input on the agency's proposal to designate critical habitat for the Cook Inlet beluga whale.
     All four meetings will be held in Alaska.
     The agency proposed designating more than 3,000 acres of the Cook Inlet as critical habitat for beluga whales, in December.

Smokeless Tobacco Under Health Dept Purview

     WASHINGTON (CN) - The Federal Trade Commission has dropped its proposed rule to require sponsored racing vehicles and other event-related objects bearing smokeless tobacco brand names, logos, or selling messages to also rotate-in health warnings, as the subject matter is now under purview of the Department of Health and Human Services.
     On June 22, President Obama signed into law the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which transfers authority over the size, format, and display of the smokeless tobacco health warnings to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.
     The Family Smoking Prevention Act also directs the DHHS to re-issue its 1996 Regulations Restricting the Sale and Distribution of Cigarettes and Smokeless Tobacco to Protect Children and Adolescents, prohibiting cigarette and smokeless tobacco manufacturers from sponsoring athletic and entertainment events using brand names, logos, or selling messages.
     During the comment period of the FTC rule, the agency received 200 substantive comments opposed to the proposed regulations and 17 in support of it. Race team petitions generally opposed the proposal, and 53,000 postcards contained a pre-printed message opposing the proposal.
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