Monday, May 27, 2019

Does the term "plant-based burgers" mislead consumers?

Turtle Island Foods dba Tofurky v Missouri
Western District of Missouri

The ACLU of Missouri has joined together with the plaintiffs in this case, filed in August 2018.  The lawsuit challenges a Missouri law which forbids the use of the word “meat” and other meat-like terms to describe vegetarian foods that contain no meat.

The lawsuit states:  “Plant-based meat products that use such terms like “deli slices,” “burger,” “sausages,” or “hot dogs,” with accompanying qualifying and descriptive language, clearly indicate that the products are plant based and accurately convey to consumers the products’ ingredients.”

Plaintiffs believe the law improperly restricts their truthful commercial speech.

“A consumer who is looking for a plant-based product that has the texture of chicken but is not the product of animal slaughter would find a label that includes terms such as “teriyaki chick’n strips” or “slow roasted chick’n” in addition to a declaration that the product is plant based more useful than a label that says only “plant-based food product.”

Similar laws have been enacted or are under consideration in South Dakota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Montana, Arizona, Arkansas, Washington State, and others.  In most cases, the laws are theoretically designed to prevent advertising which is misleading to consumers but the actual purpose is to protect the meat industries in those specific states.

A tentative settlement of this lawsuit was announced in February 2019 but the details are still being worked out.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Does the term "vegan butter" mislead consumers?

Brown v Miyoko's Kitchen, Inc.
Eastern District of New York

Miyoko's Kitchen vegan butter is made from non-milk ingredients.  The name says VEGAN, after all.


But Jasmine Brown contends the labeling is misleading because consumers who see the word “butter” will assume it contains milk, which in turn means it contains calcium and other nutrients.  In fact, the US government requires that any product sold as “butter” must contain at least 80% milk fat.  Therefore, she believes it should be labeled as margarine, instead of butter.

She filed a federal complaint in New York on October 30, 2018.

Miyoko's Kitchen asserts that consumers are not mislead by “rice milk” or “soy cheese” or other similar names, so “vegan butter” is also not confusing or misleading.

“Unlike other lawsuits against plant-based alternative foods, this lawsuit doesn’t allege that consumers will be confused between “real” butter and vegan butter. Instead, it argues that consumers are being misled because they would expect that Miyoko’s products “are nutritionally equivalent to butter or margarine, when they are inferior — lacking vitamin A, D, E and calcium.’”​

The case was voluntarily dismissed by the plaintiff with prejudice on February 28, 2019.  A voluntary dismissal with prejudice often means the parties reached a settlement, usually confidential.  In this case, that's what happened.

Monday, May 13, 2019

A to Z Blogging Challenge - Reflections

Congrats to everyone who completed the challenge!  It's tough, but worth it.

As usual, I barely had enough time to create my own posts, despite starting in January.  At the end of March we had a death in the family, and the managing partner of my law firm had surgery on April 2 and was out the entire month, which greatly increased my workload.  So the word CHALLENGE in the A to Z Challenge was especially applicable this year.

I visited quite a few participating blogs, but I was NOT good at leaving comments.  My bad.  There's always next year, but that's what I always say =)

Here are the blogs/themes I found interesting and/or fun:

Adjusting to Life as a Military Spouse



Living in Fairbanks Alaska

John Williams' film scores


Signs from road trips across the USA

This year, in honor of the A to Z Challenge 10th anniversary, here's a list of ten questions the challenge folks proposed for us to consider using in our reflections post:

1. What did you love about the challenge this year? I had a lot of fun with my theme, and several of the blogs I visited had really interesting themes.  I love geography and learning about our world, and there were several blogs that had a geography theme.

2. What would you change about it? It would be nice if all the participants either had the month of April off work, or were granted an extra 2 hours per day, so we would be able to visit more blogs.

3. What was the best moment for you during this year's challenge? My husband checked out my blog every day, which he almost never does.

4. What is the best comment your blog got during the challenge, and who left the comment? The country of Wales was not on any of the country lists that I used, and AJ Blythe noted that.  Is it a true country?  Or just part of the UK?  An interesting question.

5. Will you do the challenge again? Absolutely.

6. Was it well organized and were the hosts helpful? (Did you fill out the after survey?) Yes I did the after survey.  I thought the hosts did a great job.

7. How did you and your blog grow, change, or improve as a result of this challenge? Did you find new blogs out there to enjoy? I deviated from my usual legal/military theme, which was interesting but I miss my legal/military stuff.  I found several new blogs that I'll be visiting throughout the year.  Others I've enjoyed for several years and still do.

8. Were you on the Master List? (If you did the challenge last year, was it better this time without the daily lists?) I was definitely on the master list.  I never looked at the daily lists so that part didn't really affect me.

9. Any suggestions for our future? I loved the separate column on the master list for the specific theme.  I didn't really visit any blogs that didn't include a specific theme that I thought would be interesting.

10. Any notes to the co-host team? A word of thanks to Jeremy for all his hard work on the graphics? A picture with your A to Z shirt, if you ordered one? Great challenge and good work!

I'll see everyone next year!

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

AtoZ Blogging Challenge - Z answers

Thank you for playing along with me for the A2Z Blogging Challenge.

Here are the answers to yesterday's Z prompts.
1. Country - Zimbabwe
2. Famous Person - Catherine Zeta-Jones
3. Vehicle - Zamboni
4. Animal - Zebras
5. Plant - Zebra grass
6. Sports - Zip line
7. Everyday object - Zipper
8. Book or Movie - Zootopia
9. Occupation - Zoologist
10. Mystery word - Led Zeppelin

Come back on May 6 for the Reflections post!
So long and thanks for all the fish