Additional state AGs join probe into supplement marketing.

  • The New York Attorney General’s (AG) investigation into the marketing of allegedly misbranded herbal supplement continues to develop.  The investigation commenced with theissuance of cease-and-desist letters to major retailers, sparked a series of class action lawsuits, and then shifted focus to target supplement manufacturers and claim substantiation.
  • AGs from Connecticut, Indiana, and Puerto Rico have formed a coalition with the NY AG, which likely will result in the investigation expanding to other states.
  • Considering the ongoing regulatory, industry, and consumer interest in the dietary supplement market, it seems unlikely that this particular investigation will fade quickly or quietly.
  • Debates over the pros and cons of labeling Genetically Modified (GM) foods and ingredients continue to be waged in federal and state legislative bodies and among industry and consumer groups more generally.
  • New England states have thus far achieved the most legislative “success” in this space, with Vermont’s law currently slated to take effect (although it is being challenged) and with Maine and Connecticut having enacted laws whose effectiveness is contingent on legislative action by additional surrounding states.  Rhode Island and Massachusetts now are poised to consider GM labeling bills of their own.
  • Although campaigns for state-required GM labeling have failed in California, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington, the Northeast states remain a region to watch.  The resolution of the Vermont legal challenge, the enactment of additional GM laws, and the potential for federal legislative action in this space all could mark significant changes in the food industry’s approach to GM labeling in the future.