Chemical Labeling and Disclosures: Can the Government Put Words in Your Mouth?

Vol. 29 No. 4

Mr. Gotting is a partner at Keller and Heckman LLP, in Washington, D.C., and practices in the firm’s litigation and environmental groups. Ms. Marrapese is a partner at Keller and Heckman LLP, in Washington, D.C., and practices in the firm’s environmental and chemical control groups.

Consumer right-to-know campaigns, Green Chemistry, social compliance programs, and reform of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) are among a number of initiatives aimed at significantly expanding the availability of information related to chemicals in the marketplace. While the government’s authority to require labeling and other disclosures is often not in doubt, there is a risk of overreaching and implicating the First Amendment. Specifically, there is a concern that the government will go beyond requiring factual information and force private industry to adopt a message or opinion of the government or a third party.

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