California’s pesticide regulator has reportedly filed a petition against Whole Foods alleging that several of its pet products, including cat litter and dog and cat flea spray, contain pesticides that have not been registered with the state. Cal. Dep’t of Pesticide Registration v. Whole Foods Mkt. Cal., Inc., No. 2013-00150499 (Cal. Super. Ct., Sacramento Cty., filed September 9, 2013). State law evidently requires pre approval of pesticide products so they can be tested and approved for safe use. The company is reportedly cooperating with the state and has indicated that it “looks forward to addressing the matter before a judge.” If Whole Foods has violated state law, California may impose fines. According to an agency spokesperson, failure to register pesticide products has been an ongoing issue with the Austin-based retail grocery chain and the agency intends to investigate it for a range of purportedly unregistered products. See Huffington Post, September 12, 2013; Associated Press and ABJ Morning Call (Austin), September 13, 2013.


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For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.