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House Passes Farm Bill Without Food Stamp Program

The US House of Representatives passed Farm Bill legislation that was stripped of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (“SNAP”), commonly known as the food stamp program. This was the first time since 1973 that the food stamp program was not part of the final Farm Bill, although SNAP remains part of the Farm Bill passed by the Senate.  The removal of SNAP stripped the Farm Bill of any remaining Democratic support in the House.  Rep. Frank Lucas, Republican Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, has indicated that he intends to prepare a separate food stamp bill as soon as he can “achieve consensus.”

Settlement Reached in “All-Natural” Class Action Regarding Food Products Containing GMO Ingredients

June 27, 2013

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In what is being billed as the first settlement of a class action suit alleging that the use of an “all natural” claim is deceptive where certain ingredients contain GMOs, Barbara’s Bakery Inc. has agreed to pay $4 million to the plaintiff class. The case, brought in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, centers around Barbara Bakery’s cereal and snack products manufactured with GMO ingredients. Under the settlement, class members may be eligible for refunds of up to $100 each, and Barbara’s Bakery agreed not to use marketing claims such as “all natural” in the future where products contain GMO ingredients. Barbara’s Bakery also agreed to eliminate GMO ingredients from many of the products at issue in the lawsuit, which elimination would need to be verified by the third party Non-GMO Project.

Litigation over use of marketing claims such as “all natural” or “100% natural” has increased significantly

USDA Approves First GMO-Free Label

June 27, 2013

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For the first time ever, the USDA has approved a GMO-free claim for use on meat and liquid egg products. As recently reported by the New York Times, USDA has granted a request advanced by several meat producers to allow products to be labeled as “[coming] from animals that never ate feed containing genetically engineered ingredients like corn, soy and alfalfa.” The producer must be able to support the claim through a third-party certification. As explained by USDA spokeswoman Cathy Cochran, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service “allows companies to demonstrate on their labels that they meet a third-party certifying organization’s standards, provided that the third-party organization and the company can show that the claims are truthful, accurate and not misleading.” In this case, the third-party certifying organization is the Non-GMO Project, which itself actively supported the USDA approval.  USDA has clarified that the approval did not

Welcome to Digest, Bryan Cave’s Food and Beverage Law Blog

June 25, 2013

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On behalf of Bryan Cave’s Food and Beverage Practice Team, I want to welcome you to Digest!  This blog will address current events, ideas and policy in the world of food and beverage production and regulation.  We hope you find it both entertaining and thought-provoking.  If there is a particular issue you would like us to track that you do not see in these pages, or if you would like more information about Bryan Cave’s Food and Beverage Practice Team, please don’t hesitate to contact me.  I can be reached at (314) 259-2317, or bwneuschafer@bryancave.com.

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