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Category Archives: State Consumer Protection Laws

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California’s Prop 65: More Form Over Substance

Posted in Food and Beverage, Litigation, Prop 65, State Consumer Protection Laws, State Product Safety Laws, State Regulations, Supply Chain Risk Management, Uncategorized

California’s Safe Drinking Water & Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (affectionately known as “Proposition 65”) has long been the subject of discussion, both pro and con. Much of the conversation is on various issues surrounding the enforcement of Proposition 65 (for example, see a prior post here). In March 2017, a California trial court in  Monsanto Co…. Continue Reading

CPSC in a Post-Election Government: Restraint and Moderation Are Required by All Sides

Posted in Consumer Product Safety, Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), Federal Regulations, State Consumer Protection Laws, State Product Safety Laws, U.S. Congress

We have had a huge election result, perhaps the most significant in our lifetime, potentially even exceeding what was called the Reagan Revolution.  It is critical, particularly for anybody from Washington DC, to have a great deal of modesty and humility in prognosticating the future under the Trump administration even in the CPSC world.  We… Continue Reading

Stuck in the Middle with the FTC

Posted in Advertising, Federal Regulations, Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Litigation, State Consumer Protection Laws, State Unfair Competition Laws, Supply Chain Risk Management

“…Clowns to the right of me, jokers to the left, here I am…” -Stealers Wheel (1972) Legal actions regarding “Made in the USA” claims, whether prosecuted by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or through various state unfair trade practices acts, often settle early in the proceedings.  For example, in 2014, the FTC issued 16 “closing… Continue Reading

California Prop 65: More Unintended Consequences

Posted in Litigation, Prop 65, State Consumer Protection Laws, State Product Safety Laws, State Regulations, Supply Chain Risk Management

Last month, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (“OEHHA”) adopted new Proposition 65 warning regulations.  Much of the discussions regarding these new regulations have centered on the warning requirements that become effective, after an approximately two-year phase-in period, in August 2018. There were, however, amendments to Prop 65 settlement terms, penalty amounts and… Continue Reading

Mark Your Calendars: BPA Prop 65 Warnings Required as of May 11, 2016; Styrene Also Added to the Prop 65 List

Posted in Distributors, Food and Beverage, Prop 65, State Consumer Protection Laws, State Regulations

Earlier this month, California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (“OEHHA”) issued a Notice of Emergency Action to allow temporary use of a standard point-of-sale warning message for bisphenol A (“BPA”) exposures from canned and bottled foods and beverages. This emergency rulemaking came only three weeks before California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act… Continue Reading

Lawsuits Against The Honest Company Highlight Continued Risks of “All Natural” Labeling

Posted in Advertising, Litigation, Product Class Actions, State Consumer Protection Laws

Allegations are increasing against The Honest Company, Inc. for false and misleading marketing of its products as “all natural” and “plant-based” when they supposedly contain synthetic ingredients.  The Honest Company sells personal care, cleaning, and baby products in multiple channels including at retail, online and through consumer subscriptions.  The company was co-founded by the actress Jessica Alba… Continue Reading

Another California Dismissal of Proposed Class Action Regarding Disclosure of Forced Labor in the Supply Chain

Posted in Advertising, Food and Beverage, Litigation, Product Class Actions, State Consumer Protection Laws, State Unfair Competition Laws, Supply Chain Risk Management

We recently blogged about a new wave of class action litigation related to California’s Transparency in Supply Chains Act.  In December, Nestlé USA won the dismissal of a complaint against it alleging that the company was “obligated to inform consumers that some proportion of its cat food products may include seafood which was sourced from… Continue Reading

Class Action Defense Pick-Off Strategy Shot Down by SCOTUS

Posted in Litigation, Product Class Actions, State Consumer Protection Laws, State Unfair Competition Laws, Uncategorized

Our colleagues Michael Arnold and Gauri Punjabi recently discussed the U.S. Supreme Court’s rejection of the Federal Rule 68 “pick off” strategy on Mintz Levin’s Employment Matters Blog.  We previously blogged about this crafty strategy employed by class-action defense counsel back in November 2014.  Following the recent Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez decision, defense counsel may… Continue Reading

Update: Albany County Legislature Amends Controversial Toxic Toys Law

Posted in Children's Products, Consumer Product Safety, Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), Federal Regulations, Litigation, State Consumer Protection Laws, State Product Safety Laws, State Regulations

  Last year, we wrote about a growing trend of local jurisdictions regulating children’s products, primarily toys and apparel. One such jurisdiction, Albany County, NY, enacted a far-reaching ordinance, “Local Law J of 2014,” that prohibited the sale of children’s products containing seven chemicals of “high concern” (see previous blog post here). At the time,… Continue Reading

Knockout in Round One: Court Dismisses California Supply Chains Act Class Action

Posted in Advertising, Food and Beverage, Litigation, Product Class Actions, State Consumer Protection Laws, State Unfair Competition Laws, Supply Chain Risk Management

The first round goes to the industry: on December 9, 2015, the Central District of California dismissed the complaint in Barber v. Nestle USA, a key bellwether case in a new wave of class action litigation related to California’s Transparency in Supply Chains Act. The Barber plaintiffs’ theory was that Nestle had violated California’s panoply… Continue Reading

What Does GMA’s SmartLabel Initiative Mean for False Advertising Litigation?

Posted in Advertising, Food and Beverage, Litigation, Product Class Actions, State Consumer Protection Laws

On December 2, 2015, the Grocery Manufacturers Association announced SmartLabel, a pioneering technology initiative that gives manufacturers and retailers an important new channel for disclosing information about their products directly to consumers. Through SmartLabel, simply by searching online or scanning the bar code on a product’s label, consumers can readily access a wealth of detail… Continue Reading

Settlement Looms for “Made in USA” Jeans Suit

Posted in Advertising, Federal Regulations, Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Litigation, Product Class Actions, State Consumer Protection Laws, State Regulations, State Unfair Competition Laws

A courtroom battle concerning a manufacturer’s alleged false marketing of allegedly foreign-produced products as “Made in USA” is potentially nearing a resolution.  On November 30, 2015, the lead plaintiff in Paz v. AG Adriano Goldschmied, Inc. et al. asked the court for preliminary approval of a $4 million settlement between class members and defendants Nordstrom,… Continue Reading

When Transparency Is Not Enough: Class Action Litigation Under California’s Transparency in Supply Chains Act

Posted in Litigation, Product Class Actions, Prop 65, State Consumer Protection Laws, State Unfair Competition Laws, Supply Chain Risk Management

Passed in 2010, the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act has a worthy aim: requiring retailers and manufacturers doing big business in California to disclose what measures, if any, they are taking to ensure their suppliers comply with human rights standards. What started as a legislative effort to educate consumers and incentivize good corporate citizenship,… Continue Reading

Legislative Action to Remove Microbeads from Personal Care Products Intensifies

Posted in Drugs & Cosmetics, Federal Regulations, Manufacturer Product Safety, State Consumer Protection Laws, State Regulations, U.S. Congress

The International Campaign Against Microbeads in Cosmetics is most likely celebrating this week, following the California State Legislature’s passage of a bill that would prohibit the use of plastic microbeads in personal care products after January 1, 2020.  The bill, AB 888, now heads to Governor Jerry Brown’s desk for his signature.  Although several states already… Continue Reading

The Patchwork Solidifies: GMO Bill Moves Forward in the House

Posted in Federal Regulations, Food & Drug Administration (FDA), Food and Beverage, Litigation, Product Class Actions, State Consumer Protection Laws, U.S. Congress

The proposed Federal regulation of GMOs is proceeding. Following the White House’s recent action on GMOs, Representative Pompeo’s “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act” (H.R. 1599) was passed by the House Agriculture Committee on July 14. The Pompeo bill is an attempt to preempt a patchwork of state regulations on GMOs. More specifically, the legislation:

Hidden Costs of Common Beauty Treatments?

Posted in Consumer Product Safety, Drugs & Cosmetics, Food & Drug Administration (FDA), Litigation, Manufacturer Product Safety, Product Class Actions, Product Liability, Retailer Product Safety, State Consumer Protection Laws

The “toxic trio” is a foreboding name some associate with common and seemingly innocuous manicures and pedicures. Salon workers suffer higher-than-average rates of birth defects, miscarriages, cancers, and skin afflictions stemming from their daily use of nail products, many of which contain potentially harmful chemicals. A New York Times exposé on the health conditions affecting… Continue Reading

Toy Safety Regulation Should Be Left To The Federal Government

Posted in Children's Products, Consumer Product Safety, Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), Litigation, Product Liability, State Consumer Protection Laws, State Product Safety Laws, State Regulations, U.S. Congress

[This article originally appeared on Law360.com on June 23, 2015.] On June 2, 2015, the Suffolk County Legislature became the latest county legislature in New York to pass a “toxic-free toys” act. About a week later, the New York City Council got in on the action and introduced a similar bill. Since the beginning of… Continue Reading

Onward to Trial: Federal Court Rejects Vermont’s Motion to Dismiss GMA Lawsuit

Posted in Advertising, Food and Beverage, Litigation, State Consumer Protection Laws

Despite a stiff litigation challenge from the food industry, Vermont’s GMO-labeling campaign marches on. This week saw major developments in the suit brought by the Grocery Manufacturers’ Association and other food industry groups challenging the constitutionality of Vermont’s GMO-labeling law, Act 120. Each side won an important victory in motions decided by the court, leveling the… Continue Reading

California Appellate Court Takes on Proposition 65 Warning Triggers

Posted in Children's Products, Distributors, Food and Beverage, Litigation, Manufacturer Product Safety, Product Liability, Prop 65, Retailer Product Safety, State Consumer Protection Laws, State Product Safety Laws, State Regulations, Supply Chain Risk Management

Recent 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 California Reenters the GMO Food Labeling Arena – This Time Through The Legislature).  This past week, however, the California Appellate Court for the… Continue Reading

A Sane Tweak to Proposition 65

Posted in Prop 65, State Consumer Protection Laws, State Product Safety Laws

This space has addressed on several occasions, [HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE], recent attempts to modify California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, commonly known as Proposition 65. Many of the comments on proposed changes to Proposition 65 have panned the proposed changes because they either do too little or make businesses’… Continue Reading

A Clean Slate? California Bill Is Latest Attempt to Legislate Labeling Requirements for Cleaning Products

Posted in State Consumer Protection Laws, State Regulations, U.S. Congress

Another potentially meaningful development in legislation affecting consumer products companies: on February 25, a California legislator introduced a bill, AB 708, that would require manufacturers, distributors and retailers to disclose all “chemical” ingredients for designated consumer products “manufactured from chemicals or chemical compounds.” The bill designates a broad swath of consumer goods for disclosure, from cleaning products and floor polishes to… Continue Reading

Deja Vu All Over Again: Federal GMO Labeling Legislation Re-Introduced

Posted in Federal Regulations, Food & Drug Administration (FDA), Litigation, State Consumer Protection Laws, State Regulations, U.S. Congress

Last week, Sen. Barbara Boxer of California, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, and Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore)–joined by chef-lebrity Tom Colicchio–announced the reintroduction of The Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act, a federal bill that would mandate the labeling of foods or beverages containing genetically-modified organisms (GMOs).  The bill is Senator Boxer’s second attempt at GMO labeling legislation; in… Continue Reading

No Representation Without Substantiation? What POM Wonderful v. FTC Means for Consumer Class Actions

Posted in Advertising, Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Litigation, Product Class Actions, State Consumer Protection Laws

In this first post of a two-part series, we take a closer look at last Friday’s decision in POM Wonderful v. FTC by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, which has meaningful implications for how companies advertise their products’ health benefits to consumers. The decision bolsters the Federal Trade Commission’s position that, when a company… Continue Reading

Albany County, NY Enacts Stringent Children’s Product Safety Law

Posted in Children's Products, Consumer Product Safety, State Consumer Protection Laws, State Product Safety Laws, State Regulations

Do local governments, such as town councils and county legislatures, have a role in regulating consumer products that is typically reserved for the federal and state governments?  Apparently, the legislature and executive of Albany County, New York believe that they do. Every so often, local jurisdictions get out in front of federal and state legislators… Continue Reading