Communications & Media Consumer Protection Environmental

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California Appellate Court Affirms Judgment in Favor of Food Company on Claims of Lead Exposure

In an important victory for defendants doing business in California, the California Court of Appeal recently affirmed a trial court’s decision holding that the defendants did not violate Proposition 65, California’s toxics...more

In Big Defense Win, Appellate Court Affirms that Proposition 65 Exposure Level Can Be Based on Average Consumption Over Time

In an important victory for defendants doing business in California, the California Court of Appeal recently affirmed a trial court’s decision holding that the defendants did not violate Proposition 65 (Prop 65), California’s...more

California Appellate Court Takes on Proposition 65 Warning Triggers

Auburn Courthouse Prop 65Recent attempts to modify California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, Proposition 65, have been the work of the California Legislature. (See A Sane Tweak To Proposition 65 and...more

FTC Fails to Prove Green Guides' Meaning of "Biodegradable"

In an Initial Decision announced February 6, 2015, Chief Administrative Law Judge D. Michael Chappell of the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) held that ECM BioFilms, Inc. d/b/a Enviroplastics International (“ECM”) made false...more

FTC: Warning Letters to Manufacturers of Dog Waste Bags Suggest They May Be in Deep Doo-Doo

For the dog lovers of the world, this one is for you. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently sent "warning letters" to 20 manufacturers and marketers of dog waste bags that dog owners, walkers, and conscientious others...more

Proposition 65: OEHHA Proposes Revisions to Proposition 65 Warning Regulations

On January 12, 2015, the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) proposed important new regulations that would repeal and replace the existing Article 6 regulations regarding the all-important "clear and...more

California Earthquake: “Proposition 65” About to be Rocked?

California’s “Proposition 65” warning requirements (Health & Safety Code Sections 25249.6 et seq.) have long been a major concern for businesses that want their products offered for sale in the State’s large marketplace....more

Proposition 65 May Mean More Than Warning Signs and Lawsuits

As this space has discussed, Proposition 65 has been the subject of attempts by the California Legislature to reform the enforcement of the law. Recently, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment...more

New food information to consumers – 5 Key Points

The attention consumers are giving to their food choices is growing. These choices can be influenced not only by health and economic reasons but also by environmental, social and ethical considerations. It is not a...more

House Committee Hearing Debates "GMO" Labeling Bill

On December 10, 2014, the U.S. House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Health held a hearing on Examining FDA's Role in the Regulation of Genetically Modified Food Ingredients. The witnesses included Michael Landa, Director...more

Wait for the "Green" Light Before Making Environmentally Friendly Claims

Consumers increasingly pay a premium for environmentally friendly products. As a result, companies are expanding their green marketing claims regarding products and packaging. Those companies may find themselves under...more

Petitioners Urge FTC to Investigate Utility’s Environmental Marketing Claims

This week, environmental activists in the state of Vermont filed a petition with the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) alleging that an electric utility made improper environmental marketing claims regarding its...more

Hazardous Chemical Users: Time to Consider Compliance with the GHS

In most Australian states, businesses involved with hazardous chemicals must comply with the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) from 31 December 2016. 'Businesses' include...more

FTC’s Recent Enforcement Cases for Misleading Recycled Content Claims

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has stepped-up its enforcement initiatives and recently settled two cases with companies that market plastic lumber and related products. FTC alleged that these companies misled consumers in...more

Federal Bill Seeks To Establish Uniform GMO Labeling Requirements

Earlier this month, Representative Mike Pompeo, along with 4 co-sponsors, introduced the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act (H.R. 4432). This bill sets forth three main objectives: it establishes a process for evaluating the...more

Regulation Creep In The Nanny State:The Proposed Not-So-Safe-Harbor Enactment In Proposition 65 Advertising Regulations

Thomas Jefferson once famously warned that, “The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.” In the current political climate, this certainly seems to be the case. Businesses are being...more

California Proposition 65 Caramel Coloring Suits

This January, Consumer Reports, an independent product testing organization, released a report entitled “Caramel Color: The health risk that may be in your soda” detailing its investigation of the presence of...more

Proposition 65 Hot Button Issue: Caramel Coloring in Soft Drinks

Beverage companies PepsiCo and Goya face a spate of class action lawsuits relating to the caramel coloring in their soda drinks. In January, Consumer Reports, an independent product testing organization, released a report...more

Coming Christmas 2014: California Adds Another Phthalate Chemical to Its Proposition 65 List

With the 2013 holiday season behind us, the State of California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) already appears to be looking forward to Christmas 2014. It has just wrapped and put a bow on next...more

FTC Enforcement Initiatives Spotlight Risks In Making Green Marketing Claims

The Federal Trade Commission has launched an enforcement program to encourage compliance with the agency’s recently revised Green Guides. It has brought at least 12 actions alleging deceptive and misleading claims based on...more

New EU Regulation on Cosmetic Products Enters Into Force

On 11 July 2013 Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009 (Regulation) will replace the Cosmetics Directive of 1976 that used to rule cosmetic products in the European Union. Major aims of the Regulation are health protection, animal...more

Court To Decide Whether FDA Regulation Of Lead In Baby Food Pre-empts California Proposition 65

One of the rare California Proposition 65 trials began on April 8, 2013 – the Environmental Law Foundation (ELF) suit in Alameda County, CA Superior Court (ELF Lead In Food Case, available at...more

Episode 91 – Michael Funk Discusses Labeling Foods Containing GMOs March 14, 2013

In Episode 91 of The Wendel Forum (originally aired on March 9, 2013, on 960 KNEW AM radio), show moderator Dick Lyons, co-founder of Wendel Rosen’s sustainable business practice group, welcomes Michael Funk. Funk is a...more

Eco-Friendly Product? Be Careful How You Advertise It

Everyone is “going green.” From recycling to reduced packaging, consumers want products they perceive to be environmentally friendly. But what do those “green” claims really mean? ...more

FTC Approves First Settlement Under Revised Green Guides

The Federal Trade Commission March 6, 2013, approved final orders C-4385 and C-4386 settling charges that two paint manufacturers made false and unsubstantiated claims that some of their paints contained zero volatile organic...more

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