Communications & Media Agriculture

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GMO Food Labels, Our Emotions and the “Rationalist’s Delusion”

Politicians often referred to a 90% consumer preference for food labels signaling the existence of genetically modified ingredients—or GMOs as they are known—during this year’s congressional hearings regarding the now enacted...more

FDA Guides Industry For Use Of “Healthy” On Food Packaging

Yesterday, the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) announced guidance regarding using the term “healthy” in the labeling of human food products. As background, the FDA issued final rules updating the Nutrition Facts label...more

Debate growing over preemption of state claims over organic produce labeling

Recently, the Eastern District of New York held that the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C §§ 6501–6522) preempts various state claims that Abbott Laboratories, Inc. falsely labeled its Similac® Advance® Organic...more

Empty spaces causing big problems: the rise of slack-fill litigation

Last month, a district court judge in California dismissed a highly publicized lawsuit in which the plaintiff claimed that Starbucks’ iced beverages contained too much ice and not enough coffee. The suit was the subject of...more

Not So Sweet: The Debate Over Evaporated Cane Juice

FDA’s final guidance expresses its view that the phrase “evaporated cane juice” is false and misleading. “Evaporated cane juice” has become a popular ingredient in everything from yogurt to cookies, attracting consumers...more

GMO Disclosures and Claims: A Possible End to the U.S. GMO Labeling Controversy?

On July 7, 2016, the U.S. Senate passed an important amendment to S. 764 to establish a mandatory nationwide labeling approach for genetically engineered (GE) foods, more popularly referred to as genetically modified...more

House Passes GE Labeling Bill; Obama Expected to Sign

As a parting act before its seven-week recess, the House last Thursday passed by a vote of 306-117 Senator Pat Roberts’s (R-KS) legislation (S.764) requiring the labeling of genetically engineered foods. Already approved by...more

European Parliament Calls for Extended Application of Country of Origin Labeling in the EU Just When the WTO Dispute on the United...

On May 12, 2016, the European Parliament renewed its call for mandatory country-of-origin labeling (“COOL”) for meat and dairy products not currently subject to such marking rules. The reasoning behind requiring additional...more

Senate Passes Bill Requiring Labeling for Genetically Engineered Foods

Four months after the Senate defeated a GE labeling bill (S.2609) introduced by Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS), the upper chamber Thursday night passed, 63-30, a compromise measure (S. 764) that Roberts...more

Senate Passes GMO Food Labeling Legislation

Earlier this month, the Senate passed legislation (S. 764) that would amend the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 to require the Secretary of Agriculture to establish a national disclosure standard for bioengineered foods. ...more

Agreement Reached on Bipartisan Federal GMO Food Labeling Bill

Provides Practical, Mandatory Disclosure and Preempts State GMO Labeling Laws - Senate Agriculture Committee leaders reached agreement June 23, 2016, on a bill that would require food containing genetic material modified...more

Nationwide GE Labeling Leaps Forward

Four years after California’s genetically engineered (GE) food labeling initiative was defeated, but just days before Vermont’s GE law is to go into effect, the U.S. Senate is poised to impose such labeling nationwide. The...more

Leaders of the Senate Agriculture Committee Announce An Agreement On National GMO Labeling

With Vermont’s law on GMO labeling set to take effect next month, the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry Committee announced on Thursday that the Senators reached an agreement on proposed legislation setting a national...more

Vermont GMO Food Labeling - Is Your Label Ready?

In less than two months, Vermont's genetically modified organism (GMO) food labeling law, Consumer Protection Rule 121, goes into effect. Starting July 1, 2016, food manufacturers producing food containing GMOs to be sold in...more

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

GMO Labeling Bill Stalls in U.S. Senate

Yesterday, the U.S. Senate failed to pass a bill sponsored by the chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Pat Roberts (Rep. Kansas), that would prohibit state labeling laws and create federal standard for voluntary...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

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