We blogged on April 16, 2019, about the legal challenge to Missouri’s prohibition of characterizing plant- or cell-based products as “meat.” In response to plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary injunction, the state made no effort to defend the statute as written. Instead, it argued that the state Department of Agriculture had issued a statement that it would not refer any manufacturer for prosecution if the labeling clearly disclosed the origin of the product. That statement was not, however, binding on the county prosecutors whose duty it is to enforce the statute.
On April 10, 2019, we blogged about Minerva Dairy’s challenge to the Wisconsin butter grading statute. On June 24, 2019, the Supreme Court denied the petition for certiorari. Given the strength of the dairy lobby in Wisconsin – until the mid-1960’s manufacturers of margarine were not permitted to compare its taste to butter – a legislative solution seems unlikely.
We blogged several times – most recently, on April 24, 2019 – about Iowa’s “ag-gag” law, which makes it a criminal offense to gain employment in or access to farm or ranch operations by means of false pretenses. The primary purpose of these kinds of statutes is to prevent undercover investigation of agricultural operations that engage in animal cruelty.
We are approximately nine months into FDA’s animal feed and pet food facility inspections for compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Preventive Controls for Animal Food (PC) rule. With PC inspections starting for small businesses this Fall, there are a few lessons we have learned from the inspections that have occurred to date.
On October 15, 2018, we blogged about Tennessee’s regulations on licensing for retail sales of alcoholic beverages. Tennessee requires residency within the state for two years in order to obtain an initial license. It requires residency for 10 consecutive years to obtain a renewal of the initial license. But the initial license only runs for a year. The statute also requires that all officers, directors and shareholders of corporations to satisfy these residency requirements. The effect of this statute is to prohibit publicly traded corporations from obtaining a liquor license. It also gives a clear edge to Tennessee residents at the expense of out-of-staters.
On June 24, 2019, the United States Supreme Court announced it would overturn its ban on vulgar trademarks. The decision in Iancu v. Brunetti, holds that prohibiting trademarks that consist of or comprise immoral or scandalous matter violates the First Amendment. Husch Blackwell’s Kris Kappel and Tara Allstun provide insight on the decision including what this means for your business in a post on our TMT Industry Insider blog.
Avoiding Trademark Disputes in the Beverage Alcohol Industry
It is undeniable that craft beverage marketplace – both with beer and spirits – has seen tremendous growth over the past several years. The result is a crowded, somewhat confused and competitive environment where standing out from the crowd is increasingly challenging. While producing a quality product is, of course, paramount, developing a distinctive and eye-catching brand for your latest beer, wine, or craft spirit has become a critical component to success in the industry. In the beverage alcohol business, brand is (nearly) everything. Ideally, that brand will provide a springboard toward future expansion of your product line as the brand becomes known in the market and specifically requested by consumers. Continue Reading Steer Clear with Your Beer Branding
On June 7, 2019, the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) announced that it has adopted a final regulation eliminating the requirement for coffee to carry a Proposition 65 warning label. The regulation overturns a California State Court decision that found that coffee retailers failed to prove that the chemicals present in coffee, such as acrylamide, pose no significant risk of harm, requiring coffee to bear a warning. Continue Reading California’s OEHHA Finalizes Regulation Rescinding Warning Requirement for Coffee
Since enactment of the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 (the “2018 Farm Bill”), confusion has run rampant over when and where hemp or hemp produced cannabidiol (CBD) can legally be used. Animal food and feed are no exception. Developments at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as well as the actions taken by the Association of Animal Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), should be of particular interest to animal feed and pet food manufacturers interested in expanding into the so-called green rush. Industry participants should take notice of these changes and evaluate the impact they have on their businesses. Continue Reading CBD in your Animal Food or Feed? Not So Fast.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued a draft guidance to advise food manufacturers of its intent to exercise enforcement discretion for the name “potassium chloride salt” in the ingredient statement on food labels as an alternative to the common or usual name “potassium chloride.” Potassium chloride is often used as a partial substitute for sodium chloride (i.e. salt) in many foods.