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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has affirmed its previous opinions finding that "there are no risks to public health when glyphosate is used in accordance with its current label and that glyphosate is not a carcinogen." “EPA has found no risks to public health from the current registered uses of glyphosate,” EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said in a press release. “Today’s proposed action includes new management measures that will help farmers use glyphosate in the most effective and efficient way possible, including pollinator protections. We look forward to input from farmers and other stakeholders to ensure that the draft management measures are workable, realistic, and effective.” Meanwhile, the New York legislature has passed a ban on chlorpyrifos that would take effect January 1, 2020. After that date, aerial application of the pesticide would be prohibited; after January 1, 2021, all use of the pesticide would be prohibited except for…

A consumer has filed a putative class action alleging that Mott's Applesauce and Apple Juice products are mislabeled as "natural" because they contain traces of an insecticide. Yu v. Dr Pepper Snapple Grp. Inc., No. 18-6664 (N.D. Cal., San Jose Div., filed November 1, 2018). The plaintiff alleges that reasonable consumers would not expect to find acetamiprid, a synthetic chemical, in a product labeled as "natural." The complaint echoes a similar lawsuit filed by Beyond Pesticides in May 2017; an amended complaint in that lawsuit was filed in October 2018.

A New York federal court has dismissed allegations from a putative class action arguing that Pret A Manger Ltd. sold sandwich wraps with excess slack fill between the wrap's halves. Lau v. Pret A Manger (USA) Ltd., No. 17-5775 (S.D.N.Y., entered September 28, 2018). The court held that the plaintiffs lacked standing for an injunction despite their argument that they would consider purchasing the wraps in the future, finding "no sufficient basis for inferring that plaintiffs would ever seek to purchase a Pret wrap again as long as the status quo persists." The court also disagreed with the plaintiffs' argument that the slack fill in the wraps amounted to an intent to defraud consumers. "Specifically, plaintiffs state that less than half, or 45 percent, or Pret wraps surveyed contained slack-fill," the court noted. "Drawing all reasonable inferences in plaintiffs' favor, the Court finds that the facts are insufficient to nudge…

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced the results of its annual Pesticide Residue Monitoring Program. From samples collected between October 1, 2015, and September 30, 2016, the agency analyzed 7,413 samples and reportedly found that more than 99 percent of domestic and 90 percent of imported foods complied with federal standards. FDA also examined samples of corn, soybeans, milk and eggs and found zero samples that violated federal limits. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement, "Like other recent reports, the results show that overall levels of pesticide chemical residues are below the Environmental Protection Agency’s tolerances, and therefore don’t pose a risk to consumers.”

The Ninth Circuit has vacated a 2017 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) order allowing some uses of the pesticide chlorpyrifos, remanding the matter to the agency with directions to revoke all tolerances and cancel all registrations for the pesticide within 60 days. League of United Latin Am. Citizens v. Wheeler, No. 17-17636 (9th Cir., entered August 9, 2018.) Eleven plaintiffs and eight states acting as intervenors petitioned the court to review the order, arguing that the tolerances were inconsistent with the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) in "the face of scientific evidence that [chlorpyrifos] residue on food causes neurodevelopmental damage to children ... a need for additional scientific research is not a valid ground for maintaining a tolerance that, after nearly two decades of studies, has not been determined safe to a ‘reasonable certainty.’” EPA argued that FDCA’s administrative process requirements deprive the court of jurisdiction until EPA issues a response…

A consumer has filed a putative class action alleging that Florida’s Natural Orange Juice is not “natural” because it is “highly processed” and contains pesticide residues. Axon v. Citrus World Inc., No. 18-4162 (E.D.N.Y., filed July 20, 2018). The complaint alleges that Citrus Inc. markets Florida’s Natural with illustrations on the packaging of “green leaves and orange blossoms as well as fresh-sliced oranges with juice visibly dripping from the fruit,” which conveys to consumers that “the juice is in fact natural and similar in result if consumers had squeezed the oranges themselves.” For alleged violations of New York’s consumer-protection statutes, the plaintiff seeks class certification, damages, restitution and attorney’s fees.

Hawaii Governor David Ige has signed a bill that will ban the use of chlorpyrifos in the state beginning January 1, 2019. The law allows users of the pesticide to apply for a temporary permit allowing its use until December 31, 2022, and prohibits the use of pesticides near schools during normal school hours. The bill was passed in May 2018 by a unanimous Hawaii legislature.

The Hawaii Legislature has passed a bill banning the use of pesticides containing chlorpyrifos and prohibiting restricted-use pesticides near schools. The legislation would prohibit the use of chlorpyrifos beginning January 1, 2019, but allow for the grant of temporary extensions through 2022. Hawaii's Department of Agriculture will also be required to produce a summary of pesticide use by county. The bill has been forwarded to Governor David Ige for approval.

The European Parliament has adopted rules governing the certification and labeling of organic foods, including supply chain checks and updated standards for organic foods imported from non-EU countries. The rules also cover plant seeds, allowing producers to offer locally adapted traditional varieties for sale and use. "Organic standards are already very high, but consumer confidence can best be strengthened when the rules are clear and comprehensible. The new regulation wil[l] certainly make a positive contribution here," MEP Martin Häusling said in a interview. “Moreover, many of the rules that give producers security are also beneficial to consumers. The annual process-oriented controls mean consumers can be sure companies are inspected regularly."

A federal court has dismissed with prejudice a putative class action alleging that Quaker Oats’ use of “100% Natural” on its products misleads consumers, holding that the plaintiffs’ claims are expressly preempted by the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA). Gibson v. Quaker Oats Co., No. 16-4853 (N.D. Ill., entered August 14, 2017). The plaintiffs alleged that Quaker’s use of “natural” was misleading under several state statutes because the products contained residues of the herbicide glyphosate. The court held that nutritional and food labeling is governed by the FDCA, preempting the plaintiffs' state law claims, which were “attempting to challenge how food stuffs are marketed." In addition, the court held that the FDCA expressly governs the presence of pesticide and herbicide residues in food, “establishing a clear and manifest purpose that preempts state regulation of food labeling.” The court also found the plaintiffs had no standing to pursue claims related…

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