Calif. Regulators to Discuss Adult Film Proposals at July 20 Meeting

Calif. Regulators to Discuss Adult Film Proposals at July 20 Meeting
Rhett Pardon

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The state Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board today requested a staff update for two proposed adult film industry regulations pending before the board. 

The Standards Board eventually will vote on the two petitions that request new regulatory language for § 5193 of the state code of regulations to address occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens on porn sets.

At its monthly business meeting today in Sacramento, the board requested an update on the adult filmmaking proposals for its next meeting to be held in San Diego on July 20.

The Free Speech Coalition’s Petition 560 emphasizes performer control over their bodies and allows the protocols to improve by making use of scientific advancements. FSC's petition would keep current standards like the PASS system, but it would also add options, including the use of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and vaccines.

The AHF, meanwhile, introduced Petition 557, which is similar to an ill-fated amendment that was shot down by the Standards Board in February 2016. That amendment, if it had been approved, would have greatly expanded barrier protection for porn performers and likely would have required performers to wear goggles to avoid ocular infections and dental dams for oral sex.

So far, the Standards Board has not signaled what direction it will be taking with the two petitions at hand — with the exception that it plans on seeking a staff update on the proposals.

An advisory meeting that attempted to sort out the petitions was held on Jan. 31 in Oakland. The meeting, lasting more than six hours, attracted nearly two dozen panelists, along with about 40 individuals, comprising performers and producers, listening in on the proceedings.

This morning, industry attorney Karen Tynan, on behalf of the FSC, and adult star Verta, as a representative of the Adult Performer Advocacy Committee, testified in front of the Standards Board during the public comment portion of the agency’s monthly meeting.

Tynan again reminded the board, along with attending Cal/OSHA representatives, that it’s important to schedule a second advisory committee meeting in Los Angeles “so that performers — the real stakeholders — can participate.” 

Verta, who has appeared at almost every Standards Board meeting as a stalwart of advocacy, also reminded board members that performers want their voices heard.

As typical, AHF’s advocate against the adult film industry, staffer Adam Cohen, made the most of his two minutes at the podium at the State Resources Building in Sacramento

Cohen spoke at length about recent testimonies made by Dr. Miao, who operates performer-testing facility Cutting Edge Testing that works under the PASS system, and Eric Paul Leue, who is the FSC’s executive director. 

Cohen, during the public comment period of this morning’s meeting, took great issue with the fact that the PASS system continues to list a date associated with 28-day tests — not just 14-day testing.

He also continued to complain about Leue’s representations regarding industry-testing protocols and the PASS system, and he avoided any talk about PReP.

“It was the usual AHF talking points — ‘industry bad,’ ‘us good,’ ‘testing bad’ — and on and on,” Tynan told XBIZ.  “Also, when Adam sits in a hearing room behind me, as he always does, it’s not just because he secretly adores me, but that he’s taking copious notes on his keyboard.” 

At its meeting today, the Standards Board focused primarily on other worker-safety matters, such as safety orders for reinforcing steel concrete construction and industrial truck operation, which it planned to vote on.

The Standards Board meeting on July 20, which is planned to include a staff update to the adult film proposals, will be held at the County Administration Center, 1600 Pacific Hwy., Room 310, in San Diego.

“We need to start today getting people to show up,” Tynan said. "This is not a vote or decision meeting. However, we have the opportunity during the public comment time to voice our support for the industry proposal and our opposition to AHF's proposal. 

"There are some new members of the Standards Board who were not there at the last vote and there are new staff members for the Division [of Occupational Safety and Health] who need to see us as an aligned industry." 

Pictured: Karen Tynan, left, and Verta attended today’s state Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board meeting.

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