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On July 1, 2016, Vermont's Act 120 will require food manufacturers to indicate in the labeling of all products regulated by FDA when the food has been produced with the use of genetic engineering (GE).
After filing a Section 15(b) report and conducting a recall with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”), it is not uncommon for a company to wonder whether it timely filed its report under the Consumer Product Safety Act (“CPSA”). A question sometimes asked of us is how much time must pass before the company can feel confident that the agency is not going to initiate a timeliness investigation or civil penalty action.
I haven't met many people who don't love maple syrup. Its versatility knows few bounds – traditional pancake or waffle topper, lemonade, salad, and doughnuts come to mind. As you might imagine, the maple syrup industry actively works to protect its product, especially when it comes to alleged imposters.
On March 25, 2016, Administrative Law Judge Dean Metry found that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission ("CPSC") case counsel did not prove that high powered, small rare earth magnets (“SREMs”) (1) are defective as sold by Zen Magnets ("Zen"); and (2) constitute a substantial product hazard when sold with appropriate warnings, including proper age recommendations (click here for decision and order).
Last week, FDA finalized new food safety regulations seeking to ensure the sanitary transport of human and animal food, as required under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
It seems as though 2016 may become the year that industry receives a plethora of helpful interactive portals from Federal Agencies. 
In the wake of the Senate’s defeat of legislation that would have preempted state-mandated GE ingredient labeling on food products, a new trend is emerging, as one food manufacturer after another announces that they will voluntarily label bioengineered ingredients contained in their national food product lines.

National Retailer Settles FTC Native Advertising Complaint

March 26, 2016 | Blog | By Richard Maidman

The potential pitfalls of native advertising were on display this month at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The agency reported that national retailer Lord & Taylor settled with it on charges that the company improperly paid for native advertisements.
This morning, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced that it has obtained a record-breaking $15.45 million civil penalty in a settlement agreement with Gree Electric Appliances of China, Hong Kong Gree Electric Appliances Sales Co. of Hong Kong, and Gree USA Sales of California (Gree) over dehumidifiers sold under 13 different brand names.
There have been many twists and turns over the past four years concerning the CPSC’s regulation of certain high powered, rare-earth magnet sets and its litigation against various entities selling these magnets.
Allegations are increasing against The Honest Company, Inc. for false and misleading marketing of its products as "all natural" and "plant-based" when they supposedly contain synthetic ingredients.The Honest Company sells personal care, cleaning, and baby products in multiple channels including at retail, online and through consumer subscriptions. 
In case you hadn’t heard about it or didn’t get involved in any of the events hosted by various campaign members, the week of March 6-12 was National Consumer Protection Week.
On March 11, Health Canada announced that it had assessed administrative monetary penalties under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA) against company Orange TKO Industries (Orange TKO or the Company) of Calgary. 
We recently blogged about a new wave of class action litigation related to California’s Transparency in Supply Chains Act.  In December, Nestlé USA won the dismissal of a complaint against it alleging that the company was “obligated to inform consumers that some proportion of its cat food products may include seafood which was sourced from forced labor.” 
After hosting the first of three stakeholder meetings late last year, federal government agencies engaged in overhauling the 1986 Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology recently announced that meetings two and three will take place on March 9 and March 30 in Dallas, Texas and Davis, California, respectively.

New GE Ingredient Labeling Bill Intensifies Food Fight in Congress

February 26, 2016 | Blog | By Sam Rothbloom

The latest salvo in the legislative food fight over genetically engineered (GE) ingredients came from the Senate, where Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) has introduced a bill that would instruct the Secretary of Agriculture to create a voluntary food labeling standard for bioengineered foods.
Earlier today, the CPSC unanimously agreed to publish in the Federal Register a new enforcement policy proposed by Commissioner Joe Mohorovic regarding the certification of certain adult wearing apparel (click here for policy-related materials and statement prepared by Commissioner Mohorovic). 

Preemption Defense in the Ninth Circuit Is “Not Dead Yet”

February 19, 2016 | Blog | By Daniel Herling

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) contained a scene where bodies of plague victims were brought out to the curb for collection via a cart whether or not they properly belonged there. One living fellow insists on not being dead by exclaiming: “I’m not dead yet.”  Unfortunately for him, his protestations go unheeded and he is placed in the cart of the dead.

Federal Rule 68 Loophole; Not So Fast, My Friend.

February 17, 2016 | Blog | By Lyzzette Bullock

As we recently blogged about, in January the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the Rule 68 ‘pick off’ strategy in its Campbell-Edwald decision. 

Reminder – Truthful Advertising Is Not Optional

February 12, 2016 | Blog | By Joanne Hawana

We blog frequently about new regulatory developments coming from CPSC or FDA and about enforcement actions brought by those federal agencies as well as state counterparts and private plaintiffs.
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