Turner Entertainment Co. has filed an opposition to Sligo Mill Brewing Co.'s application to trademark "Surrender Dorothy," arguing that consumers will be misled into believing that the brewery is associated with "The Wizard of Oz." Turner Entm't Co. v. Sligo Mill Brewing Co., Opp. No. 91244715 (U.S.P.T.O., filed November 13, 2018). Turner, which owns trademark rights on several iterations of "Dorothy," asserts that "the well-known phrase 'Surrender Dorothy'" was "written in the sky by the Wicked Witch of the West and is one of the most memorable scenes in The Wizard of Oz." Turner alleges that Sligo Mill "attempted to mislead consumers into believing its mark is licensed, approved, or sponsored by or otherwise affiliated with" Turner and "The Wizard of Oz" by naming its beer after the movie scene and featuring an image of a yellow-brick road on its label. The entertainment company urges the U.S. Patent and Trademark…

A Pew Research Center poll has reportedly found that Americans are "of two minds about food additives" because about half "say the average person faces a serious health risk from food additives over their lifetime (51%) while the other half believes the average person is exposed to potentially threatening additives in such small amounts that there is no serious risk (48%)." The poll also found that 49 percent of respondents believed genetically modified (GM) foods to be "worse for one's health than non-GM foods, while 44% say such foods are neither better nor worse and 5% say they are better for one's health." Pew reports that it found "an inverse relationship between how much people know about science generally, based on a nine-item index of factual knowledge, and their beliefs about the health risk of foods with additives as well as GM foods. People with low science knowledge tend to…

The North Carolina Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program has reportedly found that children can be exposed to elevated levels of lead through consumption of spices and herbal remedies. Angelon-Gaetz et al., "Lead in Spices, Herbal Remedies, and Ceremonial Powders Sampled from Home Investigations for Children with Elevated Blood Lead Levels - North Carolina, 2011-2018," Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The researchers examined North Carolina counties that showed an increase of the number of children with blood lead levels "much higher than most children's levels," per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention standards. The researchers reportedly found that 28.8 percent of spice samples taken from 59 homes showed lead levels of more than one milligram per kilogram. "Increasing testing of spices, herbal remedies, and ceremonial powders for heavy metals by food safety regulators at the port of entry when these substances are imported into the…

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have announced after "several thoughtful discussions" that both agencies "should jointly oversee the production of cell-cultured food products derived from livestock and poultry." The agencies' statement announces a "joint regulatory framework wherein FDA oversees cell collection, cell banks, and cell growth and differentiation" that will transition "during the cell harvest stage" to USDA, which "will then oversee the production and labeling of food products derived from the cells of livestock and poultry." "This regulatory framework will leverage both the FDA’s experience regulating cell-culture technology and living biosystems and the USDA’s expertise in regulating livestock and poultry products for human consumption," the announcement concludes. "USDA and FDA are confident that this regulatory framework can be successfully implemented and assure the safety of these products. Because our agencies have the statutory authority necessary to appropriately regulate cell-cultured food products derived…

California's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has proposed changes that aim to clarify the exposure-warning requirements of the state's Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act (Prop. 65). The proposed changes amend the section of Prop. 65 requiring manufacturers to notify retailers or intermediaries about products that may cause exposure to a chemical listed under the act. Comments on the changes will be accepted until December 31, 2018.

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) has announced a meeting to be held April 24-26, 2019, that will include a discussion and vote on recommendations for updates to U.S. organic standards. The deadline to submit written comments is April 4, 2019, with the same deadline applying to those who intend to provide oral comments at the meeting in person or via webinar.

The European Commission has issued a report on antibiotics and antimicrobial resistance that includes a section on Europeans' "attitudes towards the use of antibiotics on sick animals, and their awareness of the ban on using antibiotics to stimulate growth in farm animals." The report states that 56 percent of respondents believed that sick animals should be given antibiotics, while 35 percent told researchers that sick animals should not be treated with antibiotics. The majority of respondents—58 percent—did not know that the use of antibiotics to stimulate growth in farm animals is banned in the EU, which represents a drop by two percentage points since the same question was asked in a 2016 study.

According to the BBC, advocacy group Action on Sugar has called for restaurants to stop serving "freakshakes," milkshakes with added "chocolates, sweets, cake, cream and sauce." The group reportedly surveyed restaurants for nutritional information on their freakshakes and found that some contained as many as 1,280 calories, or "more than half the daily recommended amount of calories for an adult and over six times the amount of sugar recommended for seven to 10-year-olds." The group called on the U.K. government to "introduce legislation to force companies to be more transparent about what is in their products."

Russia has created a poultry-breeding program to reduce its dependence on meat imports, Bloomberg reports. The country has used Soviet technology—which created "a bigger and tastier version of Gallus gallus domesticus" that apparently nearly went extinct following the collapse of the government—to establish a program that aims to reduce foreign imports of food products. Bloomberg also notes that a "replacement program for potatoes" has been approved, while a program for sugar beets is in progress. "To our knowledge, no country has a large-scale poultry breeding program that competes with the major corporations," Bloomberg quotes a scientist with the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization as saying. “They thought we wouldn’t be able to compete with them in a million years,” one of the scientists who worked on the Soviet project reportedly told the news outlet. “Now it’s a completely different situation. Friends are friends, but you know how it goes.”

The European Court of Justice's Grand Chamber has determined that taste cannot be copyrighted in a lawsuit alleging copyright infringement of a cheese spread. Levola Hengelo BV v. Smilde Foods BV, No. C-310/17 (E.C.J., entered November 13, 2018). The court considered whether "taste" amounts to a work under copyright law. "[F]irst, the authorities responsible for ensuring that the exclusive rights inherent in copyright are protected must be able to identify, clearly and precisely, the subject matter so protected," the court stated. "The same is true for individuals, in particular economic operators, who must be able to identify, clearly and precisely, what is the subject matter of protection which third parties, especially competitors, enjoy. Secondly, the need to ensure that there is no element of subjectivity –– given that it is detrimental to legal certainty –– in the process of identifying the protected subject matter means that the latter must be…

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