This article was originally published on Food Navigator on January 13, 2021.

If your company sells any vanilla-flavored food or beverage product, then you are probably aware of the innumerable class action cases that have been filed over the last 18 months attacking these products – 67 cases by our count.  Here, we trace the history of this litigation and the outcomes achieved to date.
Continue Reading The Scoop on All that Vanilla Flavor False Advertising Litigation

It appears that users won’t be seeing the blue AdChoices triangle icon on Twitter anytime soon. AdChoices and its blue triangle icon are the work of the Digital Advertising Alliance (a consortium of trade groups) to provide users with disclosure of and the ability to opt out of targeted behavioral advertising (e.g. ads based on websites visited). This industry self-regulatory option was intended to be a broad and unifying option to stave off governmental regulation.
Continue Reading Was AdChoices Just Flipped the (Twitter)Bird on Behavioral Targeting?

On Thursday, June 27, 2013, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced that Mortgage Investors Corporation of Ohio, Inc. (“Mortgage Investors”) will pay a $7.5 million civil penalty for alleged violations of the Telemarketing Sales Rule (“TSR”). This settlement marks the largest fine that the FTC has ever collected for TSR violations and cleverly coincides with the 10th Anniversary of the National Do Not Call Registry.
Continue Reading ‘Do Not Call’ Violations Lead to $7.5 Million Civil Penalty

Proposition 37, the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act ("Prop 37”), if approved by the voters on November 6, 2012, will provide that food offered for retail sale in California produced with genetic engineering (“GMO food”) is misbranded unless clearly labeled to say it is genetically engineered. Prop 37 also provides that GMO “processed food” may not on its label, store signage, advertising or promotional materials state or imply that the food is “natural” or words of similar import.

Ballot materials prepared by the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) state that Prop 37 could be interpreted to mean “processed food” is subject to the prohibition against “natural” labels, even if it is not produced with genetic engineering. In our view, this is not the correct interpretation of Prop. 37.


Continue Reading Proposition 37 Permits “Natural” Labeling for Non-GMO Processed Food

By Craig Cardon, Brian Anderson, Rachel Hudson.
 

On January 5, 2011, the Third Circuit issued its decision in New Jersey Retail Merchants Association v. Sidamon-Eristoff, Case No. 10-4551 (3d Cir. Jan. 5, 2012). The appellate court affirmed the decision of the District Court partially granting and partially denying a motion for a preliminary injunction of enforcement of New Jersey’s unclaimed property law as applied to gift cards or stored value cards ("SVCs").


Continue Reading Third Circuit Issues Decision in New Jersey Gift Card Escheat Suit

On December 21, 2010, the FCC approved controversial net neutrality rules in a party-line vote. Democratic Commissioners Copps and Clyburn joined Chairman Genachowski in approving the Order, despite concerns that it did not go far enough. Republican Commissioners McDowell and Baker wrote lengthy dissents, arguing that the FCC had stepped far beyond its regulatory authority in approving Internet regulations.
 


Continue Reading FCC Approves Controversial Net Neutrality Rules

Last week Sun Chips pulled its biodegradable snack bag off the market around the same time that the FTC announced that it wanted to change its so-called "Green Guides." Coincidence? Maybe.  Sun Chips explained that the more environmentally-friendly bag that it launched with a nice spot on Earth Day –  was "noisier" than its regular bag, raising complaints from consumers who were more interested in having a quiet snack bag than doing something to help save the planet.  But complaints about "noisy" bags aside, the changes that the FTC has proposed to the Green Guides will make it harder for marketers like Sun Chips to tout the things that they’re doing to help reduce the negative effect that their product manufacturing and distribution pipelines are having on the environment.  If the FTC takes away a brand’s ability to tout those attributes, then it also takes away a brand’s ability to leverage those attributes to increase sales.  And if that’s taken away, we run the risk that brands will make green initiatives less of a priority, which will hurt us all.
 


Continue Reading Will The Revised “Green Guides” Do More Harm Than Good?

This week the Governor of California vetoed what would have been a landmark law on data breach notification. The law sought to strengthen the notification required when databases of personal information are compromised. California’s existing data breach law, which will continue unamended, requires companies and state government agencies to notify individuals when their personal information has been compromised.
 


Continue Reading California Data Breach Notification Law Vetoed

Web businesses have fueled the natural cynicism that consumers have when reading online reviews. There are too many reported instances of businesses or PR firms using employees or paid reviewers to post glowing reviews, and, in addition, mark as unhelpful negative reviews of their respective businesses.
Continue Reading ‘Astroturfing’ With Fake Reviews Exposes A Company to Legal Risk