We have blogged, most recently on January 3, 2020, about the status of so-called “ag-gag” laws.  These laws are designed to prevent undercover scrutiny of agricultural operations to uncover cruelty to animals, food safety violations, or other malfeasance.  For the most part, courts have struck down these laws as infringing on the First Amendment.

On January 22, 2020, the United States District Court for the District of Kansas struck down most of Kansas’ ag-gag law as violative of the First Amendment.  This particular statute has been around since 1990, although there has never been any prosecution under it.

Continue Reading Ag-Gag Law Update

On October 15, 2019, we blogged about the District Court’s decision to deny Tofurky a preliminary injunction against Missouri’s meatless meat statute. The statute itself purports to ban as misleading the use of words such as “meat” or “sausage” or “burger” to describe plant- or lab-based food products. It does not contain a safe harbor if the labeling or other advertising clearly discloses the plant- or lab-based origin of the product. Based on representations from the state department of agriculture that it would not refer any case for prosecution if the product had such disclosures, the District Court denied the injunction. Tofurky has appealed.

Continue Reading Meatless Meat Update

Husch Blackwell will host BioBreak on the Plaza: The Future of Biopressing Technology in our Kansas City office on December 11, from 3:45-6:30 p.m. The panel will discuss what makes biologics unique from other pharmaceuticals and treatments, what the bioprocessing industry looks like in our region, and the types of innovation happening within these fields.

Continue Reading The Future of Bioprocessing Technology

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a press release on the evening of Monday, November 25 concerning its recent enforcement actions and a regulatory decision concerning products that contain cannabidiol (CBD).  The Warning Letters follow FDA’s trend of focusing its CBD product enforcement on unapproved drug claims.  The regulatory decision stated in the press release concerns FDA’s decision that CBD is not generally recognized as safe (GRAS) for use as a food additive.

Continue Reading FDA States CBD Is Not GRAS for Use in Food, Issues More Warning Letters

We have blogged several times, most recently on October 15, 2019, about the so-called meatless meat statutes. These statutes attempt to protect producers of meat from competition from plant- or lab-based foods that are engineered to look and taste like real meat. The stated rationale is to prevent purveyors of meatless meat from misleading consumers. As is the case with many consumer protection statutes, the real objective is to protect competitors.

Continue Reading Meatless Meat Update

Earlier this year, a class action complaint was filed against Coca-Cola and one of its subsidiaries, Fairlife LLC, alleging false advertising for selling “humanely sourced” milk. Why false? According to the complaint, which was filed in June, the dairy cows milked at Fairlife’s flagship farm were subjected to allegedly “horrendous animal abuse,” despite Fairlife’s claims in its advertising and on its labels that its animals lived in “extraordinary care and comfort.”

Continue Reading Spoiled Milk: A Cautionary Tale of Advertising and Labeling for the Animal Products Industry

Our latest blog post on this proposition was on January 17, 2019, which discussed the efforts of various states to challenge California’s ban on the sale of eggs, pork and veal that have not been raised according to California’s strict standards for animal protection. Those standards establish minimum space requirements considerably more generous than the industry standards. The ban originally applied only to California farmers, but they quickly realized that they would be at a substantial competitive disadvantage if the ban did not apply to such foods produced in other states. In 2010, the legislature extended the egg ban to all states.

Continue Reading Update on California Proposition 12

We last blogged about Tofurky’s challenge to Missouri’s meatless meat statute on September 16, 2019.  Settlement negotiations had broken down and the parties asked the District Court to address plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary injunction.  On September 30, 2019, the Court issued an order certifying a defendant class consisting of the prosecuting attorneys in each county in Missouri.  To our considerable surprise however, the Court denied the motion for preliminary injunction. Continue Reading Meatless Meat Update