Joyce Chen to stop making health claims
WASHINGTON — Plastic cutting board maker Joyce Chen Inc. will pay an $82,500 fine and stop making anti-bacterial health claims about its product to resolve an Environmental Protection Agency complaint against the company.
The Billerica, Mass.-based manufacturer had ``misleading labeling'' that claimed its cutting boards were treated with a chemical that prevents the growth of common household food poisoning organisms such as E. coli and salmonella, EPA said.
The fine is the latest settlement in an EPA crackdown on the use of pesticidal chemicals that the EPA says are not registered and tested to verify their claims.
Joyce Chen officials declined to comment, but have said they were only claiming the products inhibited bacteria, not prevented it.
EPA has stepped up enforcement of its rules, and has fined Hasbro Inc. for claiming that some of its plastic toys were treated with chemicals that protected children from germs.
Both Joyce Chen and Hasbro used pesticides with trichlosan to treat their plastic products.
Rubbermaid executive leaves company
WOOSTER, OHIO — Gary Kleinjan, former president of toy maker Little Tikes Co., resigned from Tikes' parent company, Rubbermaid Inc. on Sept. 16, Rubbermaid has confirmed.
Kleinjan left Rubbermaid to take the position of chief executive officer of another company, said Lorrie Paul Crum, a spokeswoman with Rubbermaid in Wooster.
Rubbermaid did not formally announce Kleinjan's resignation, and Crum said the company would not disclose the name of his new employer.
``This is a parting on good terms,'' Crum said.
Kleinjan did not return a telephone call to his home.
Kleinjan was president and general manager of Little Tikes, the Hudson, Ohio-based maker of rotationally molded toys, from 1994 until this past August. Rubbermaid announced a management shuffle Aug. 11 that moved Kleinjan from the Little Tikes top spot to a corporatewide Rubbermaid position of president of sales and corporate accounts. At the same time, Cal Eller, who had held that sales and corporate accounts post, became Little Tikes' new president and chief operating officer.
Rubbermaid predicts profit will fall
WOOSTER, OHIO — Rubbermaid Inc. announced Sept. 19 that its third-quarter earnings are likely to be 18-19 cents per share — down from 31 cents a share in the third quarter of 1996.
The third quarter will end Sept. 30 for the Wooster-based housewares and consumer products giant.
In its announcement, Rubbermaid noted sales ``were beginning to exhibit some inconsistency'' at the end of the second quarter, and that situation has continued through the third.
The company said it is ``close to an upturn in performance, with all indications pointing to a strong year-over-year earnings comparison in the fourth quarter.'' Fourth-quarter 1996 profit was 13 cents per share.
In the Sept. 19 statement, Wolfgang Schmitt, Rubbermaid chairman and chief executive officer, attributed the sales inconsistency to tighter retail inventory, temperate consumer demand and delays by several key customers in placing new products on the retail shelves.
Schmitt also said the firm's restructuring, plus moderating resin prices, should give Rubbermaid a push going into 1998.
House approves supplier liability bill
WASHINGTON — A bill exempting most biomaterials suppliers from being the ``deep pockets'' in litigation has passed a House subcommittee, but questions remain about the next step for the legislation.
The bill, which passed the Commercial and Administrative Law Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee Sept. 11, aims to reverse what proponents say is a declining number of materials suppliers in the medical implant market.
The bill protects materials suppliers from liability as long as they did not play a role in designing the product or provided faulty materials.
A spokesman for the bill's sponsor in the House, Rep. George Gekas, R-Pa., said the provision has wide support, leading some in the House leadership to want to attach it to broader product liability legislation. A similar measure is attached to product liability legislation in the Senate.