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Ho Ho Ho GMO! The 2014 GMO Legislation Scorecard

December 23, 2014 | Blog | By Mina Nasseri

his has been a big year for GMO legislation.  In 2014 alone, 25 states have proposed 67 pieces of legislation aimed either at the labeling of products containing GMOs or at the ban of GMO-containing crops. 
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As we've explored in past posts, Congress is currently considering a bill that aims to harmonize the patchwork of state efforts at regulating GMO labeling by placing such regulation firmly within FDA's jurisdiction.
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Yesterday congressional leaders announced that they reached a deal on an omnibus bill that will fund the federal government through September 30, 2015. Included in this bill is $123 million in funding for the CPSC, which is the amount the agency requested in its 2015 Budget Request and an increase of $5 million from what the agency received in 2014.
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Last month, Archer Daniels Midland Co. (“ADM”) joined a slew of corn exporters and other stakeholders who have sued Syngenta based on allegations that China rejected these exporters’ products because Syngenta’s genetically modified corn seed, which contains a trait that China has not yet approved for import, was not kept separate from the plaintiffs’ products.
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Tomorrow, December 5, 2014, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) will be briefed by staff on a recommendation to issue a proposed rule to permanently prohibit five phthalates – DINP, DIBP, DPENP, DHEXP, DCHP – from children’s toys and child care articles.  The use of three phthalates – DEHP, DBP, and BBP – in these products is already prohibited by law.
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Late this afternoon the U.S. Senate confirmed current Commissioner and former Acting-Chairman Robert S. Adler to a second 7 year term as a CPSC Commissioner by a 53-44 vote.
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n recent years, we've noticed a new maneuver that class-action defense counsel have increasingly added to their playbooks: The Pick Off. 
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Yesterday evening, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) filed cloture on the re-nomination of Robert Adler to be a Commissioner of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). 
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At their April Senate confirmation hearing, both incoming CPSC Chairman Elliot Kaye and Commissioner Joe Mohorovic pledged to Senator John Thune (R-SD) to submit plans for reducing third party testing burdens within 60 days of confirmation.
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As we’ve explored in past posts, mandatory GMO-labeling legislation has, at best, a spotty track record among state legislatures.
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November Elections Impact the Food & Beverage Industry (Part 1)

November 6, 2014 | Blog | By Mina Nasseri

Bids to require mandatory labeling of foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMO) were voted down in Colorado and Oregon on Tuesday. 
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On October 28, 2014, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced that Baja Inc., and its corporate affiliate, One World Technologies Inc., of Anderson, S.C., agreed to pay a $4.3 million civil penalty to resolve charges that it knowingly failed to immediately report certain defects and an unreasonable risk of serious injury involving some of the company’s mini-bikes and go-carts.
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On October 20, 2014, FDA reached a settlement with the Center for Food Safety (“CFS”) in litigation pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
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Battle of the Experts Still Brewin' in Starbucks Trial

October 23, 2014 | Blog | By Daniel Herling

n April 2010, the Council for Education and Research on Toxics (CERT) sued Starbucks Corp. and other coffee sellers alleging they violated California's Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, passed by California voters in 1986 as Proposition 65, by failing to warn consumers about carcinogens in their products as required under the act.
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On October 14, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) published a report entitled “Consumer Product Safety Commission: Challenges and Options for Responding to New and Emerging Risks.” 
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A recent class action settlement has brought fresh attention to two age-old questions. The first: does Red Bull actually give you wings? The second: how carefully should courts screen out bogus claimants from proposed classes of refund-seeking consumers?
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In May, we advised readers conducting recalls that the CPSC’s new monthly “recall progress report” form may catch you by surprise. Among other changes, the form included new provisions requesting companies to report recall notification statistics on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter along with information from the company’s monitoring of online auctions for sale of their recalled product.
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FDA Announces More Changes to FSMA Implementation Rules

October 6, 2014 | Blog | By Russell Kott

On September 19, 2014, FDA announced potential changes to four rules that the agency proposed in 2013 to implement the Food Safety and Modernization Act (“FSMA”). FSMA was signed into law in January 2011 in response to many reported incidents of food-borne illness during the 2000s.
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Operation Full Disclosure! FTC's Frontal Assault on Ads

October 2, 2014 | Blog | By Daniel Herling

In this blog we often discuss products being subjected to a lawsuit based on allegations that a label is false or misleading under California’s consumer protection laws. 
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Earlier this year we began a series of blog entries to update our readers on legislative efforts on Capitol Hill that affect stakeholders within the product safety arena.
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