BPA in Plastics Requires a Prop 65 Warning — For Food Containers, California Imposes a Generic Point-of-Sale Warning

Last year the State of California added Bisphenol A (BPA) to its list of chemicals known to cause cancer or reproductive harm under Prop 65 [the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986], a law which requires warnings for such exposures in California. The warning requirement kicked in a year later – May… Continue Reading
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Just Published: “12 Tips to Reduce Joint Employer Risks”

What is the most vexing legal issue today facing companies that rely on independent contractors to perform essential services? Treating the engaging firm as the “joint employer” of their contractors’ workers. Joint employment legal risks extend to all companies that license their brand to independent licensees, distributors, dealers, or franchisees or that engage others that… Continue Reading

(Un)COOL: How Congress (Unsuccessfully) Made Sausage Labeling Laws

Crises averted in international trade usually make good economics, but unsatisfying politics.  They’re a half-loaf of success in which positioning, inertia and self-interest usually win.  So it is with the recent repeal of meat country of origin labeling (“COOL”) laws. The basic story is that the 2002 and 2008 Farm Bills included COOL provisions requiring… Continue Reading

New Year, 7 New Laws in Oregon: What You Need to Know Going Into 2016

Oregon decided to participate in New Year’s resolutions this year. As the season becomes colder, Oregon employers will be required to follow a host of new laws passed by the state legislature that will significantly affect the workplace. These laws, which go into effect Jan. 1, 2016, pertain to all restaurants, hotels, and food and… Continue Reading

Naturally, It’s Only Natural. Or, Is It?

Think of that busy mom in a grocery store, standing in front of a wall of granola bars. How does she choose which one to buy? Does she pick the all-natural chocolate peanut butter kind or the not-all-natural chocolate peanut butter kind? Does she believe that products labeled “natural” actually are natural? What does “natural”… Continue Reading
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Getting to the Roots of It All

“Natural”, “organic”, obesity, water, subsidies, pesticides, “local”, “healthy”, genetically-modified food, diabetes, menu labeling, workers’ rights, food labeling, food safety, international trade – the list of hot-button issues in food and agriculture could go on for pages. As the national conversation about food and agriculture gets louder, and seemingly more divisive, it can be challenging to… Continue Reading

Managing FDA and USDA Compliance

The last few years have seen tremendous changes in the food industry, including passage of the Food Safety Modernization Act; continued criticism of the GRAS (generally recognized as safe) process; increased enforcement of and litigation about food claims and classifications and their intersection with marketing and advertising efforts; and increased demands of managing national and… Continue Reading
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