Environmental Communications & Media

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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

American Tower Corporation v. City of San Diego (2014): Further Guidance From The Ninth Circuit On The Regulation Of Data Towers...

The Ninth Circuit recently addressed cell phone tower issues in the matter of American Tower Corporation v. City of San Diego (2014) 763 F.3d 1035, affirming that a local government has a wide degree of discretion to regulate...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

New FCC Rules Will Require New Approach to Siting of Wireless Facilities

The FCC adopted new rules at its Oct. 17 meeting that are likely to require changes in the way local governments respond to applications for siting wireless towers, and for adding antennas to, and modifying, existing...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

News Media Touts “Findings” of New Study on Fracking Wells Leaks, But Fails to Recognize Limitations of Data

New unconventional fracking wells leak far more than older traditional gas wells, says a smattering of news media outlets reviewing a new study released by the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences on June 30, 2014. ...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

EPA’s Enforcement Efforts Regarding FIFRA Supplemental Distribution and How to Avoid Noncompliance

Under Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) Section 3(e), a registrant may distribute or sell its registered product under another person's name and address instead of (or in addition to) its own without...more

Court Finds No CEQA Necessary For Utility Cabinets on San Francisco Sidewalks

In San Francisco Beautiful v. City and County of San Francisco, No. CPF11511535, (Cal. Ct. App. 1st Dist. May 30, 2014), the First Appellate District upheld San Francisco’s application of a categorical exemption to exempt...more

CEQA Class 3 Categorical Exemptions Permitted for AT&T Installations

The First District Court of Appeal held that AT&T’s proposed installation of new utility cabinets in the City of San Francisco fell within CEQA’s Class 3 categorical exemption for the “installation of small new equipment and...more

EPA Extols Pesticide Civil Penalty, but the Decision Could Be Problematic for Registrants and EPA

On June 6, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that Liphatech, Inc. (Liphatech), a pesticide manufacturer based in Milwaukee, WI, paid a $738,000 civil penalty for Federal Insecticide, Fungicide,...more

Court Approves San Francisco's Use of Class 3 CEQA Exemption for Telecommunications Project

Opinion clarifies when projects involving the construction of hundreds of new small utility structures may be exempt from environmental review - The California Court of Appeal upheld San Francisco’s determination that...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

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

DfE Under Fire: Do Fragrances Pass the Sniff Test?

Logos are powerful in driving consumer preferences. My three-year-old loves the Starbucks logo because he knows it means cookies for him and a chai latte for mommy. The Energy Star logo often plays an important role in...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

Sleeper “Small” Cells: The Battle Over The FCC’s Wireless Infrastructure Proceeding

As policymakers and regulators struggle to keep pace with corporate deal makers (read Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger and Comcast-Netflix deal) and address the structures undergirding our Nation’s electronic communications...more

Private Governance of Green Claims in the Marketplace: The Role of NAD and Advertising Self-Regulation

Private environmental governance encompasses a broad range of private actors creating systems and mechanisms for promoting various environmental or “green” attributes. Increasingly, companies are conducting life-cycle...more

FDA Refusal to Define "Natural" Leaves Food Manufacturers at Risk for More and Costlier Class Action Litigation and Looking for...

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration this month declined to weigh in on the issue of whether food products containing genetically modified ingredients can be labeled as "natural," refusing the request of three federal judges...more

FCC Sets Comment Deadlines for Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Environmental and Historic Review Processes for Small Cell and...

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or “Commission”) recently released a Public Notice setting comment deadlines for its September 26, 2013 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) on improving wireless facilities...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

“Just The Facts, Ma’am:” FTC Actions Target “Biodegradable” Claims

Armed with its revised Green Guides, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) continues to police what it sees as false and misleading environmental claims. In October, the agency announced six enforcement actions in response to...more

More GMO Labeling Ballot Initiatives Coming in November; Federal Labeling Initiatives in Congress

Despite losses in California and Washington, groups in favor of labeling food containing or consisting of genetically modified organisms (“GMO”) continue legislative efforts at the state and national level. Oregon and...more

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