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The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently issued a final rule that marks a major shift in the regulatory landscape for labeling that has already begun to impact other regulatory bodies—namely, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). The FTC’s new rule adds teeth to its longtime policy to prevent deceptive “Made in USA” (MUSA) claims, codifies its informal 1997 Enforcement Policy Statement on U.S. Origin Claims, and enables it to seek civil penalties of up to $43,280 for each violation of the rule.

On December 14, 2020, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved GalSafe pigs, which are genetically modified (GM) for use in food production and medical products. At the time, the agency noted in its Consumer Q&A that intentional genomic alterations (IGAs) in animals would be regulated by FDA to “ensure that it is safe for the animal, safe for anyone that consumes food from the animal, and that it is effective, i.e., it does what the developer claims it will do.” The agency also explained that IGAs would be “subject to premarket oversight whether they are intended to be used for food or to produce pharmaceuticals or other useful products” (emphasis added), with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) being responsible for the labeling of food from GM animals.
US Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) introduced legislation on May 21 to ensure hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) is regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) like other ingredients used in dietary supplements, foods, and beverages.
The month of May was buzzing with good news for the edible insect industry, but this emerging food trend still faces regulatory uncertainty in the United States.
To enhance its food traceability objective through the use of technology that strengthens the food safety system, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) unveiled, on May 19, its latest initiative through which it hopes to obtain valuable information and tangible solutions from various stakeholders.
A US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit panel recently affirmed a decision by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approving soy leghemoglobin (also known as “heme”), a soy protein, as a color additive. Ctr. for Food Safety v. U.S. Food & Drug Admin., No. 20-70747, 2021 WL 1739920 (9th Cir. May 3, 2021). Heme is produced using a novel genetically engineered yeast strain that makes Impossible Foods' plant-based burger appear to "bleed."
US President Joseph Biden signed into law the Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education, and Research Act (FASTER Act) in April, establishing sesame as the ninth major food allergen under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) and the first new major food allergen to join the list since its creation in 2004.
In an order issued on July 20, Judge Raag Singhal of the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida dismissed a class action lawsuit that claimed Burger King Corporation’s advertising deceived customers by making a “presumption” that its plant-based “Impossible Whopper” patties would be cooked on different grills than those used to cook meats. Williams v. Burger King Corp., Case No. 1:19-cv-24755 (S.D. Fla. July 20, 2020).
Harvard Law School’s Animal Law & Policy Clinic (Clinic) submitted a petition on June 9 to the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), urging it to adopt a labeling approach for the emerging category of cell-based meat and poultry that “does not overly restrict speech and that respects the First Amendment."
FDA Announces Path Forward to Protect Food Supply During COVID-19 Period