This past summer there have been some important decisions going on in the legal world having to do with public health, organic labeling, and factory farming that I want to share with you. Here are some highlights.
In New York, an appeals court affirmed and overturned Mayor Bloomberg’s Soda Ban.
- What’s Next? The mayor has indicated that he will bring the case to the court of appeals, but for now, it has been put down. But he should act before the upcoming Mayoral elections, since we don’t know how our future Mayor will view this issue
The USDA has issued final interim rules restricting junk food in schools.
- What’s Next? Since the rule is “interim,” the USDA has 120 days to make any changes, and you can count on various lobbying groups to do their best to change this piece of legislation as much as possible.
A California judge postponed proceedings in response to a proposed class action against Gruma Corp for advertising GMO tortilla chips as “all natural,” so that the FDA can answer the age-old question of whether non-organic food can be classified as natural.
- What’s Next? The FDA’s compliance has many implications; if its guidance surrounding trans fat proves informative, then its decision might not be enough.
Cal-Maine Foods Inc. (CALM) struck a deal to pay $28 million to settle antitrust claims when Sodexo Inc. filed suit against them (and a number of other egg companies) alleging that they conspired to produce fewer eggs—by killing off more hens—in order to fix prices.
- What’s Next? These companies were able to use this scheme to create a more “humane” facility for the remaining animals. Just goes to show that there is more to “humane” and “cage-free” than meets the eye.
Jarrod Barney Juarez was convicted of one count of animal cruelty following a trial this week for abusing a piglet at a factory farm that was supplying pigs to Tyson Foods. Juarez was sentenced to a fine, court costs, a suspended 30 day jail sentence, and six months of probation.
- What’s Next? Juarez’s guilty plea is one of many that comes from a series of undercover investigations undergone by the Humane Society. Hopefully, more of these individuals’ crimes will come to light.
That’s all for now. Make sure to follow future posts to stay informed!