Getting the Government in Bed: Regulating the Sex Toy Industry
24 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2013 Last revised: 1 Mar 2014
Date Written: July 12, 2013
Despite how common sex toys are in Americans’ homes and beds, the industry remains almost wholly unregulated at both the state and federal level other than the bans on selling or advertising sex toys that existed in some states until recently. While administrative agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulate thousands of other consumer products for dangers such as toxic chemicals, harmful design flaws, or inaccurate and misleading packaging, sex toy manufacturers remain free to engage in all three practices. This Comment explores the harms that can and do occur from poorly designed or improperly used sex toys. It proposes that regulation of the sex toy industry is possible through the CPSC’s petition process, and that doing so would benefit consumers.
Keywords: sex toys, regulation, administrative law, consumer product safety commission, vibrator
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