Illinois legislators recently joined California and New York in proposing bans on several food additives that a growing number of studies have shown to be harmful to human health. Read on for details and comparison of the three state bills and an update on related federal-level activity.

On Dec. 6, the Federal Trade Commission issued a proposed order against ExotoUSA LLC and its owner to resolve allegations that they improperly marketed products online using unqualified Made in USA claims and other false or misleading claims. Read on for details about this case and takeaways for companies that label and market their products as Made in USA.

On Dec. 6, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration sent a warning letter to the owners of online hemp, tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol retailer Hemp-xr.com for introducing adulterated foods into interstate commerce. FDA took issue with certain cookies, edibles, gummies and honey containing delta-8 THC and CBD because they “bear or contain an unsafe food additive.” Read on for details about this development and implications for the cannabis and marijuana industries.

In late August, the Department of Health and Human Services recommended rescheduling marijuana from a Schedule I substance to a Schedule III substance under the Controlled Substance Act. Meanwhile Congress is weighing a bill that would create federal safe harbors for financial institutions to accept deposits from state-sanctioned marijuana business operators. Read on for details about these developments and implications for the industry.

On Oct. 26, 2023, the National Labor Relations Board issued a final rule that significantly broadens the definition of “joint employment” under the National Labor Relations Act, marking the fifth change to the board’s joint employer standard since 2015. Read on to learn more about how this rule affects employers.

The Food and Drug Administration has proposed revoking the regulation that authorizes the use of brominated vegetable oil (BVO) in food because the agency no longer considers it safe. Public comments on the proposed rule are due Jan. 17, 2024. Read on to learn what California and New York are doing related to BVO and which other ingredients the FDA is reviewing.

Gov. Gavin Newsom recently signed into law the California Food Safety Act and amendments to the 2020 Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act. Together, they ban four additives commonly used in popular snacks and beverages, and an additional 26 chemicals found in many personal care products.

Read on for details about these developments impacting food and personal care manufacturers, distributors and retailers.

Massachusetts is increasing its enforcement in the motor vehicle repossession space. On Jan. 17, the state Attorney General’s Office stated that it is “conducting an investigation” into “entities collecting, servicing and/or funding” motor vehicle-secured retail installment contracts. Read on to learn about two primary areas of compliance the state is targeting and implications for debt collectors and other companies involved in this area.

On June 26, the Federal Trade Commission announced a proposed consent order resolving allegations against a group of leather and other clothing accessory companies regarding Made in USA claims in online and print materials and qualified Made in USA claims on product labels. Read on for details about this enforcement action and key takeaways for companies that market or label their products as Made in USA.