Agriculture Communications & Media

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Food and Beverage Law Update: April 2016

Finance - PACA Liens Could Impact Financing Terms - The Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) is a federal law enacted in 1930 with the goal of protecting suppliers and sellers of agricultural goods from...more

$11.7 Million Available Under Department of Agriculture’s Community Connect Grant Program

The Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Utilities Service (RUS) announced today the availability of $11.7 million under its Community Connect Grant Program (Community Connect), which provides grants for deploying...more

Rural Utilities Services Announces Broadband Loan Program Funding; Applications due July 2016

On April 8, the Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Utilities Service (RUS) published a Notice of Solicitation of Applications (NOSA) in the Federal Register for the Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee Program...more

Post-Senate Vote, Major Food Manufacturers Choose to Label Genetically Engineered Foods

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...more

Senate Agriculture Committee to Review GMO Labeling Bill

The Senate Agriculture Committee is in the process of moving forward with a GMO Labeling Bill. Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, released a discussion draft of the bill in February, and has the support of the American...more

Starlet Marketing, Patenting and Branding of the California Artichoke

How do you tempt someone to trim, steam (or boil) artichokes and scrape spiny artichoke leaves with their front teeth? Here’s an easy answer. Crown a newly minted Marilyn Monroe as Castroville’s first Artichoke Queen in...more

Court of Justice of the European Union Confirms Mandatory Labelling Requirements for Citrus Fruits

The Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) has upheld the General Court’s decision from 2014 and confirmed that it is compulsory in the EU to mention on the labels of certain citrus fruits the preserving agents or...more

Legislative Update: GMO-Labeling Bill Moves to Full Senate

In a hearing this morning in the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee, committee members voted 14-6, including all Republican members and three Democrats (Klobuchar (MN), Heitkamp (ND), and Donnelly (IN)), to...more

USDA Releases BioPreferred Program Fact Sheet And Announces Tide PurClean Certification

Last week, USDA issued a fact sheet containing an Overview of USDA's BioPreferred Program (BioPreferred). BioPreferred was created in 2002 with the passing of the 2002 Farm Bill, and was recently expanded as part of the 2014...more

A Sea Change on the Horizon for California’s Food Court? FDA Calls for Comment on Use of the Term “Natural” for Food Products

At long last, FDA has called for public comment from the food and beverage industry, citizens, and other stakeholders on the use of the term “natural” on food labeling. As many readers of this newsletter know all too well,...more

California "Organic" Labeling Decision: A Blueprint for More Class Actions of FDA Regulated Products?

In December 2015, the California Supreme Court issued a ruling in Quesada v. Herb Thyme Farms, Inc., which may affect many companies subject to FDA regulation, but particularly those that advertise and sell products as...more

Cuba and the United States: A Continuing Shift in Export and Travel Policy

On January 26, 2016, the United States again modified its stance on travel to Cuba and eased certain export restrictions to that country. The changes are not surprising, considering the White House’s determination to...more

FDA dishes out major regulatory challenges for food industry in 2016

In 2015, the FDA unleashed a surge of new regulations on the food industry carrying key compliance deadlines in 2016. As the FDA continues to intensify its enforcement over its regulated industries, food companies should...more

California Supreme Court Holds Organic Labeling Suit a Natural Fit in State Court

In December, the California Supreme Court held that a challenge to a farm’s labeling of its herbs as “organic” under state false advertising laws is not preempted by the federal Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (“Organic...more

New Funding Available for Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant Program

The Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Utilities Service (RUS) announced its 2016 application window for the Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Grant Program, which is designed to provide access to education,...more

(Un)COOL: How Congress (Unsuccessfully) Made Sausage Labeling Laws

Crises averted in international trade usually make good economics, but unsatisfying politics. They’re a half-loaf of success in which positioning, inertia and self-interest usually win. So it is with the recent repeal of meat...more

Agriculture, Food, and Health Issues to Watch for 2016

As the agriculture and food industries head into the new year, a number of important cases and regulatory issues that have the potential to dramatically affect the industry are front and center. Below, Armstrong Teasdale’s...more

Food Safety, Labeling, and Nutrition Update - December 2015 #2

As 2015 wraps up, there have been several important developments in Food Safety, Labeling, and Nutrition, most notably the FY 2016 Omnibus Appropriations Bill expected to pass the House and Senate on Friday, December 18. The...more

Don’t Deceive Me: Claims for Mislabeled Organic Food in CA

If a food is labeled organic, but is not actually organic, can a consumer bring state law claims under consumer protection statutes? In California, it appears that the answer is yes. In a recent case, Quesada v. Herb Thyme...more

Locally Sourced, Pasture-Raised, Non-GMO, and coming soon . . . E. Coli Free!

Chipotle has certainly had a rough few weeks. With news of at least another 80 people sickened (apparently from a norovirus this time) after eating at a Boston area Chipotle (on top of at least 52 people in six states from E....more

California Supreme Court Holds That Federal Organic Food Labeling Regime Does Not Preempt Claims of “Intentional” Mislabeling

What’s the difference between claiming that a food product is improperly certified as organic and claiming that the producer was properly certified but the product isn’t really organic? A unanimous California Supreme Court...more

Supreme Court Paves the Way for Organic Food Fraud Suits

The California Supreme Court just handed down a decision that’s been hailed by the Recorder as “boon for plaintiffs bar.” In Quesada v Herb Thyme Farms (PDF), the supreme court unanimously held that claims for fraud by...more

California Opens Courts to State Claims re: “Organic” Food

And the California Supreme Court said “Let there be more litigation” and there was more litigation. This week, the California Supreme Court held that private citizens (i.e. class action plaintiffs’ attorneys) can bring...more

California Supreme Court Opens the Door to Organic Mislabeling Claims

Last week, the California Supreme Court issued a long awaited ruling on organic labeling in Quesada v. Herb Thyme Farms, Inc., No. S216305, 2015 WL 7770635 (Cal. Dec. 3, 2015). At issue in Quesada was whether consumers may...more

Food for Thought: Organic Food Act Doesn't Preempt Certain State Law Mislabeling Claims

On December 3, the California Supreme Court unanimously held that state law claims of intentional mislabeling produce as organic are not preempted by the Organic Food Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. §§ 6501-6522). In Quesada v. Herb...more

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