Ad Law Access Updates on advertising law and privacy law trends, issues, and developments Tue, 14 Nov 2023 13:51:25 -0500 60 hourly 1 Pending Legislation Would Require Country of Origin Disclosures for Online Product Offerings Sun, 13 Jun 2021 15:28:35 -0400 The Senate recently passed the Country of Origin Labeling Online Act (COOL Online Act) with overwhelming bipartisan support. Currently, U.S. law requires that external packaging for many products state the product’s country of origin. The uptick in online shopping and the sale of imported products, however, has increased interest in requiring country of origin disclosures for online offers. The proposed legislation would require online sellers to disclose country of origin in online product descriptions and online advertisements. The designation would be in a manner consistent with the Customs and Border Protection origin marking regulations and section 304 of the Tariff Act of 1930. The legislation would also require conspicuous disclosure of the seller’s location and, if applicable, the country in which any parent corporation of such seller is located.

Critics of the legislation have concerns about potential inconsistency with other regulatory requirements and the burden associated with identifying and tracking the origin of a specific product, particularly for products that may be sourced from different countries or that may be purchased through an intermediary.

The FTC, not Customs, would enforce the act and certainly has experience with other statutes that require country of origin disclosures in advertising. We will continue to track the legislation.

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US, Canada Reach Agreement on Organic Ruminant Stocking Rates Thu, 02 Feb 2012 09:13:52 -0500 The Agriculture Marketing Service of the United States Department of Agriculture announced an agreement reached with Canada’s Food Inspection Agency that will provide U.S. organic dairy, beef, sheep, goat and bison producers with more streamlined access to the Canadian market. Canada now considers U.S. organic requirements for access to pasture and living conditions to be equivalent to Canada’s ruminant stocking rates (number of animals in a given area). The agreement is part of the implementation of an Equivalence Arrangement the two countries entered into in 2009.

U.S. producers who provide ruminant animals with 30 percent of their feed during the grazing season from organic pasture, put animals on pasture at least 120 days per year, and provide animals with adequate space and living conditions which accommodate the natural behavior of livestock are now considered as having met the ruminant stocking rate requirement for labeling product as organic in Canada. U.S. producers are still prohibited from using sodium nitrate in the production of ruminant-derived products labeled as organic in Canada.

New USDA Final Rule Raises Nutrition Quality Standards for Meals Served at School Wed, 01 Feb 2012 09:53:24 -0500 On January 25, 2012, the Food Nutrition Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) issued a final rule that substantially modifies the menu planning and nutrition requirements for the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program. The rule, which is intended to improve the dietary habits of school children in grades K-12 and address health concerns related to child obesity, closely aligns the lunch and breakfast meal programs with the most recent “Dietary Guidelines for Americans,” published jointly by the USDA and Department of Health and Human Services and updated every five years. The final rule applies only to foods included in lunch and breakfast meals that are served in the school cafeteria and does not impact foods contained in vending machines or other sources of food at school.

The final rule represents a substantial shift in the nutritional composition and quantity of a number of food items that make up school breakfast and lunch meals and will have far-reaching implications for companies that make or market food products for use in school breakfast or lunch programs. Companies should evaluate the legal and business implications of the rule soon, as many of the changes to the nutrition quality standards are effective at the start of the 2012-2013 school year.

See the Kelley Drye client advisory for more information, and please contact us if you have questions concerning the USDA proposal or other matters.