Last week, the FTC announced it had reached another settlement with a plastic lumber company regarding its green marketing claims.  This is the FTC’s third settlement in five months relating to environmental claims for plastic lumber products (the other cases involved N.E.W. Plastics Corp. and American Plastic Lumber, Inc.).

The FTC’s complaint alleges that

The FTC announced last week that it had reached a settlement with N.E.W. Plastics Corp., d/b/a Renew Plastics, over allegedly improper recyclability and recycled content claims.  The company manufactures plastic lumber products – including its Evolve and Trimax brands – used primarily in outdoor decking and furniture.  According to the FTC’s complaint, the company claimed

The FTC recently announced that it had reached a settlement with Down to Earth Designs, d/b/a gDiapers, regarding composition, biodegradability, compostability, and disposability claims featured on the company’s infant diaper products.   gDiapers markets and sells baby wipes (gWipes), disposable diaper liners (gRefills), and reusable diaper shells (gPants). According to the FTC’s complaint, the company advertised

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced settlements with three mattress manufacturers last week that prohibit the manufacturers from making claims that their products are free from volatile organic compounds (“VOCs”) absent competent and reliable scientific evidence.

The companies involved – Relief-Mart, Inc., Essentia Natural Memory Foam Company, Inc., Ecobaby Organics, Inc. – are all alleged

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues to emphasize enforcement against companies that market or sell products with unregistered claims of protection against disease-causing bacteria and other microbes. In a settlement announced September 28, 2011, EPA levied a fine of $261,000 against computer keyboard and mouse manufacturer, Logitech Inc., for making "unsubstantiated public health claims" about its products in violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).

Logitech incorporated into its products a widely-used silver-based additive manufactured by AgION Technologies Inc. that is registered with EPA as a product preservative. Products that incorporate such additives are allowed to claim protection against bacteria, mold and mildew that cause odors, staining, or deterioration of the product. Such products are not allowed to claim explicitly or to imply that the product offers protection to consumers against bacteria or other microbes.

In product labeling and marketing materials, Logitech had stated that the silver-based compound provided "protection to prevent the growth of a broad range of bacteria, mold and mildew" and "guards against growth of a broad range of bacteria." EPA policy contends that unqualified claims of antibacterial efficacy are potentially misleading to consumers if


Continue Reading EPA Fines Computer Keyboard Manufacturer for Making Unverifiable Antimicrobial “Public Health” Claims

On January 20, 2011, the United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) issued a final rule regarding a voluntary product certification and labeling program for biobased products. The new rule creates a distinctive USDA product mark for qualifying products and sets forth the standards that these products must meet to bear the USDA’s symbol. According to the USDA, the labeling initiative is intended to “more clearly identify biobased products for all buyers, and to promote the increased sale and use of biobased products in the commercial market and for consumers.” The certification and labeling program will be administered in conjunction with the USDA’s BioPreferred Products procurement program, which affords products that meet the programs’ requirements preferred purchasing status by federal agencies.

Continue Reading USDA Issues Final Rule Regarding Biobased Product Labeling