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Food & The Law

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Animal's foie gras loco moco - DJJEWELZ/FLICKR
  • djjewelz/flickr
  • Animal's foie gras loco moco
It's been two years since California banned the sale and production of foie gras, and it seemed to be a done deal. But a group of attorneys, as well as 13 states outside of California, are hoping to raise the issue again. In fact, they're hoping to take it all the way to the Supreme Court. 

The issue at stake is how the ban impacts interstate commerce. The 13 states (including South Carolina, Missouri, Kansas and Georgia) argue that the ban unconstitutionally interferes with interstate commerce by dictating the farming practices of producers outside the state.

By banning a certain product in California, the attorneys argue, the legislature here is actually restricting production in other states, ones that never agreed to such a ban. California may have the right to bar farmers here from techniques that produce foie gras, the argument goes. But by barring foie gras produced legally in other states, it's also hurting out-of-state farmers. 

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Thursday, May 8, 2014

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Sandwiches

This Is What a Cocaine Sandwich Looks Like

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Thu, May 8, 2014 at 6:00 AM
Cocaine sandwich - A PICTURE PROVIDED BY THE SPANISH NATIONAL POLICE
  • A picture provided by the Spanish National Police
  • Cocaine sandwich
Just in case you ever wanted to know: Here's what a cocaine sandwich looks like. You're welcome. 

The above photo was released yesterday by Spanish police, who took the sandwich from a Colombian man at a bus station in the Mediterranean beach town of Benidorm. He was carrying a sandwich that ham and cheese inside, and also over 100 grams of cocaine. 

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

click image General Mills products - GENERAL MILLS
  • General Mills
  • General Mills products

Updated 11:35 a.m.: The public went apedoody when they heard about General Mills' move to sneakily force consumers to "agree" not to sue the company if they "like" a General Mills product on Facebook, or download a coupon or enter a contest, and, as it turns out, GM has already backed down. "We've listened - and we're changing our legal terms back," the company says in a blog post dated April 19, claiming that its "intentions" were "widely misread, causing concern among consumers." [See editor's note at the bottom of the post.]

"Arbitration would have simply streamlined how complaints are handled. Many companies do the same, and we felt it would be helpful," GM says. See, they were just trying to be helpful! But, they have "reverted back to our prior terms," which do not require you agree to arbitration if you interact with them in any way online.

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Monday, March 31, 2014

the counter at Say Cheese - COURTESY: SAY CHEESE
  • courtesy: Say Cheese
  • the counter at Say Cheese
The phrase "American cheese" still conjures images of processed food in individually wrapped slices, but American-made cheeses have been gaining in popularity among gourmands. Now, just when American cheesemakers are on a hot streak, they may have to rename most of their products as the rights to cheese names are under debate during trade talks between the United States and the European Union.

The EU is on a mission to reclaim the names of cheeses that originated in Europe, such as Gouda, feta, ricotta, brie, cheddar and Parmesan - you know, basically every cheese.

The U.S. Dairy Export Council and the National Milk Producers Federation argue that the fight over cheese names is an important economic battle for the U.S., which last year became the largest single country cheese exporter in the world. Among their concerns is that consumers will find name changes confusing.

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Four Loko - PHUSION PROJECTS
  • Phusion Projects
  • Four Loko

Phusion Projects, maker of Four Loko, has agreed to never, ever sell caffeinated alcohol products again. 

The "blackout in a can" that specializes in douchey advertising featuring breast-enhanced bikini-clad bimbos, skateboards and palm tree silhouettes is officially joining the ranks of the woolly mammoth, the T-rex and the dodo. After being hit with massive pressure from a consortium of 20 state attorneys general, Chicago-based Phusion Projects LLC has agreed to cease production of all of its caffeinated alcoholic energy drinks. Consumers will be left with the tamer, caffeine-free version,  The Washington Post reports.

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Friday, February 14, 2014

Friday, February 14, 2014

Food Safety

Bill Would Require Warning Label on Sodas

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Fri, Feb 14, 2014 at 1:23 PM
click image Coke - PHOTO COURTESY OF FLICKR/VOX EFX
  • Photo courtesy of Flickr/Vox Efx
  • Coke
Sodas and other sugar-sweetened drinks sold in California would be required to carry a warning label under a new bill introduced in Sacramento Thursday.

The label would warn would-be imbibers of the risks of obesity, diabetes and tooth decay should they proceed.

It's an ironic twist of fate for a concoction whose existence began as a "health tonic."

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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Food & The Law

Vending Machines Must Now Post Calorie Counts

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Thu, Jan 2, 2014 at 6:00 AM

The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, has lots of little hidden provisions that are slowly emerging to try to force you to be healthy. One is a requirement that vending machines list calorie counts for all of their Cheez-Its, Nilla Wafers, alleged "trail mix" and other nutritional detritus that you might otherwise have mistaken as being good for you.

The new law will affect about 5 million machines around the country, causing a major headache for the 11,000 vending machine companies that will have to comply.

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Monday, September 30, 2013

Monday, September 30, 2013

Food & The Law

Farmers Facing Jail in Listeria Outbreak

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Mon, Sep 30, 2013 at 6:08 AM

If you make people sick because you sell dirty food, the government would like you to know it is no longer playing.

On Thursday, U.S marshals acting on behalf of the U.S. Attorney's Office with the Food and Drug Administration arrested two brothers who owned and operated a Colorado cantaloupe farm directly linked to a 2011 listeria outbreak that killed 33 people and sickened 147 in 28 states, including four in California. It was the deadliest listeria outbreak in almost 90 years.

Eric and Ryan Jensen of the now-bankrupt Jensen Farms were each charged with six misdemeanor counts of introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce, according to USA Today. Court documents also state that the cantaloupe "was prepared, packed and held under conditions which rendered it injurious to health." The brothers, who appeared in U.S. District Court in Denver and were released on a $100,000 bond, each face up to six years in prison and up to $1.5 million in fines. Their trial is set for December 2.

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Monday, August 19, 2013

Trader Joe's - E. DWASS
  • E. Dwass
  • Trader Joe's
There are no Trader Joe's stores in Canada, but there are, apparently, an awful lot of Canadians who love the unique grocery store's Mac & Cheese Bites and lemonade and pasta sauce so much so that they will cross the border just to shop at the nearest store location in Washington. Or, if you're Vancouver resident Michael Hallatt, you cross the border every week or so, spend a few thousand dollars on as many Trader Joe's products as you can pack in your van, then go back across the border and resell the booty at your own store that you've named Pirate Joe's.

Maybe unsurprisingly, Trader Joe's isn't too happy about Pirate Joe's and wants it to essentially walk the plank: According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Trader Joe's recently filed a federal lawsuit against Hallatt, alleging, among other claims, trademark infringement; false advertising; deceptive business practices and unfair competition.

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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Food & The Law

Naked Juice Settles Suit Over 'All Natural' Claims

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Thu, Jul 18, 2013 at 6:00 AM

Some Naked Juices - FACEBOOK/NAKED JUICE
A lawsuit has laid bare the real ingredients in Naked Juices.

Naked Juice Co. has agreed to pay $9 million to settle a class-action suit alleging that it falsely advertised some of its juice and smoothie products as "all natural" and non-genetically modified, according to the website Law360.com.

Under the deal, Glendora-based Naked Juice, owned by PepsiCo., continues to deny that its product labels were misleading or false but has agreed to shell out the money for a settlement fund and to redesign their labels to either eliminate or modify the questionable representations. It will no longer describe its juices as "all natural."

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