Public/Global Health

EPA to expedite reviews of products claiming to fight coronavirus

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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Consumer Brands Association (CBA) and others in the consumer packaged goods industry on Friday announced new steps for expediting reviews of products related to the coronavirus pandemic.

The move aims to ensure accurate information for the public about which products can help combat the spread of the coronavirus.

The EPA’s review process will now take as little as two weeks, instead of the typical 90 days, the CBA said following a call with the EPA on Friday. While no erroneous claims about products were specified on the call, the goal is to process legitimate claims quickly.

“Today’s calls were extremely productive and demonstrate the importance of public and private sector collaboration, not only in times of great stress, but every day,” EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said in a statement.

“Our collaboration is critical to slowing the spread of this virus, keeping us safe and healthy. By expediting reviews — both in labeling familiar products, and by approving new products for market — we’re aiding American families and communities across America,” he added.

The EPA and CBA said they plan to work together to establish an accelerated process to approve supplier and manufacturing plant changes in order to prevent supply chain disruptions, prioritize and expedite product claims so that consumers know what products can prevent coronavirus and expedite the clearance process for disinfectant products made internationally.

“From disinfectants to hand sanitizers and soap, our companies are doing their best to operate at full capacity. We commend the EPA for its commitment to preventing supply chain disruptions and getting these products in the hands of Americans when they need them most,” Geoff Freeman, head of the CBA, said in a statement.

The CBA also released a survey that found that 59 percent of Americans are stocking up on hand soap, 56 percent on cleaning supplies, 49 percent on hand sanitizer and 48 percent on disinfecting wipes as of Wednesday.

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