AUSTIN — A federal judge Friday blocked the enforcement of a controversial new law that makes it easier for businesses to buy fake products.
A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit issued a temporary restraining order that bars the Justice Department from enforcing the law, which requires businesses to post labels showing what ingredients are used in the products they sell.
The ruling is expected to have wide-ranging implications for state laws that have sought to limit the sale of certain products that contain a substance made from a chemical known as polychlorinated biphenyls.
The ruling is part of a nationwide push by state legislatures and consumer advocates to restrict the sale and distribution of plasticizers and other plasticizers that have become popular in the past few years amid concerns over the growth of plastic pollution in the U to millions of tons per year.
The FDA has approved more than a million plasticizers since January.
The law, passed in 2016, was aimed at curbing the spread of lead paint and other toxic chemicals that are made in plasticizers by requiring manufacturers to label the chemicals in their products.
It also required businesses to disclose to consumers what types of chemicals were used in their plastics, including polychlorine biphenide, which is a byproduct of plasticizer production.
It’s been linked to cancer, reproductive and developmental disorders, as well as neurological problems, heart attacks and strokes.
It’s a measure that has been supported by consumer groups and some manufacturers, including Reynolds American, which has said it will appeal the ruling.
In response, the FDA said it is reviewing the ruling to determine if it can comply with the law.
The agency says it will issue guidance in the coming months to clarify the law’s scope and apply it to products such as bottles, bottles caps, bottles caplets, plastic bags and containers.
The agency is also reviewing whether it can issue a final rule that would expand the scope of the law to cover plasticizers used for packaging and in injection molding processes, the agency said.
The law also requires businesses that sell a plasticizer to put a warning label on the container that reads: This product contains a chemical called PBB (polybrominated biphellene).
PBB is a known human carcinogen.
The EPA has determined that PBB can cause cancer in humans and animals.