Days after announcing the new Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, the FTC released its study, A Review of Food Marketing to Children and Adolescents: Follow-Up Report, on the food and beverage marketing practices directed to children and teens. The report serves as a follow up to the FTC’s 2008 report on the same topic. It … Continue Reading
Prop. 37 (The California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act) is a November 2012 California ballot measure that requires clear labels informing consumers if foods are genetically engineered.
Under Prop. 37, retail food in California is misbranded if it has been entirely or partially produced with genetic engineering and that fact is not disclosed. There are different disclosure requirements for raw agricultural commodity and for processed food. In addition, if the food is "genetically engineered" or "processed food," as those terms are defined under the statute, the food may not, on its label, accompanying signage, or in any advertising materials, state or imply that the food is "natural," "naturally made," "naturally grown," "all natural," or any words of similar import that would have any tendency to mislead any consumer. The application of this section with respect to "processed food" is subject to some ambiguity as the definition of that term seems overly broad. Under Prop. 37, "processed food" means "any food other than a raw agricultural commodity and includes any food produced from a raw agricultural commodity that has been subject to processing such as canning, smoking, pressing, cooking, freezing, dehydration, fermentation or milling." The issue with this definition is that it is not limited to genetic engineering. The plaintiffs bar may try to capitalize on this ambiguity by bringing claims over foods that meet the plain language of the definition - even where no genetic engineering is involved - such as frozen vegetables, cooked foods, dried fruits, and fermented vegetables, just to name a few.… Continue Reading
After a swift left to the chin in early September from the Republican-controlled House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair, Rep. Fred Upton, David Vladeck, the FTC Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection, testified before the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade, and the Subcommittee on Health, October 12, 2011, discussing the International Working Group … Continue Reading
The global attack on advertising to children draws broad battle lines. As proposed by the European Parliament Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection on July 19, 2011, the draft agenda for 2012 demonstrates a distrust of advertising generally, not just in relation to marketing of food products. The Committee has proposed a ban on all … Continue Reading
This post was written by John P. Feldman and Michael L. Sacks. The Interagency Working Group of Food Marketed to Children (“Working Group”) today has requested comments on proposed nutritional principles that it hopes will help in the fight against childhood obesity. The Working Group, established in 2009 by the FTC, FDA, CDC, and USDA at … Continue Reading
General Mills is the Food and Drug Administration’s ("FDA") latest target. In case you think that you misread the previous statement, General Mills—manufacturer of the popular cereal "Cheerios"—received a letter addressed to its Chairman from the FDA May 5 claiming that the FDA has reviewed various Cheerios labels and found they contain "serious violations" of federal … Continue Reading
Nigeria’s Consumer Protection Council (“CPC”) is calling for a global ban on advertising for food that is high in fat, sugar, and salt, at least with regard to children’s advertising. According to an article in Africa News, CPC is calling on the World Health Organization to support a strong international code that would ban marketing low-nutrition … Continue Reading