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For our June review, the action stays largely in the litigation arena with vanilla getting thrown out and sustainability as well as settlements getting called into question.  Meanwhile, environmental and health stakeholders are pushing FDA to ban PFAS from food contact uses as many in industry move away from PFAS-containing packaging.  How to digest all of it?  Consider some yogurt.  FDA updated the standard of identity, making it more delicious than ever.  Let’s take a look….

LITIGATION

Two More Vanilla Cases Get Thrown Out of the Food Court

In Robie v. Trader Joe’s Co., the Northern District of California dismissed claims that Trader Joe’s Almond Clusters cereal should have been labeled as “artificially flavored.”  The court held that, because the vanilla flavor can from both the vanilla plant and vanillin derived from tree bark, it was properly labeled as “Vanilla Flavored With Other Natural Flavors” under applicable FDA regulations and the plaintiff’s claims suggesting otherwise were preempted.  The court also found that the plaintiff had failed to allege facts suggesting that reasonable consumers would interpret “vanilla” on the product label to mean that the product’s flavor is derived exclusively from the vanilla plant, especially given that the challenged label did not contain any other words or pictures suggesting that the flavor was derived exclusively from the vanilla bean.
Continue Reading Food Industry Regulatory and Litigation Highlights – June 2021

One of the few areas of EPA policy continuity between the Biden and Trump eras is the aggressive enforcement attention being paid to products that claim to fight the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

While EPA has long prioritized enforcement of the rules governing antimicrobial products (disinfectants and the like), the current pandemic has elevated that focus substantially,

The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) yesterday released its explanation for withdrawing proposed “clarifications” to the Proposition 65 regulations governing internet sales.  Last January, OEHHA proposed what it considered to be modest clarifications to the safe harbor warning regulations, including provisions that would:

•  Specify that “internet sales” include purchases through mobile

Find the replay of our webinar Cleaning Up From 2020: Guidance for Disinfectant, Germ and Virus Killing Claims here.

COVID-19 has brought a proliferation of products claiming to kill or otherwise inhibit viruses, bacteria and other germs. These products, before they can be legally sold, are heavily regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Amid the flurry of products making coronavirus-related claims, some without legal approval or scientific support, one class of products raises unique questions:  so-called “pesticide devices,” like ozone generators and ultraviolet (UV) lights, which are instruments that claim to control pests — including viruses and other germs — through physical or mechanical means.  Unlike chemical

Advertising LawEPA issued another in a series of recent advisories aiming to clarify for consumers and companies what they need to know about disinfectant products claiming to kill the coronavirus.  EPA is actively investigating the numerous tips and complaints it continues to receive concerning products marketed with possibly false and misleading coronavirus/COVID-19 related claims.

The NAD recently analyzed whether Petmate had adequate substantiation to support claims that certain cat litter pans had “built-in antimicrobial protection” and that they could “inhibit bacteria growth.” Although the decision is most directly relevant to companies that make antimicrobial claims, it also contains information that’s relevant to any company that uses tests to substantiate

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