A Double Espresso Morning

It’s a busy day here and I’m wishing for an IV espresso drip and a neural Twitter implant. I’m following the Federal Trade Commision (FTC) Pet Meds webcast and the Food and Drug Law Institute (FDLI) Advertising and Promotion Workshop while my colleague, Katie Balmford, is in New York at the NAD Conference. During breaks, Katie and I will be reviewing the FTC’s revised Green Guides, issued yesterday.

We’ve already made note of the FTC’s cautioning that broad, unqualified claims like “eco-friendly” are probably misleading because they cannot be substantiated. The FTC also provides guidance on degradable and source reduction claims, clarifying expectations with regard to popular claims like “recyclable” and “compostable.”

The Green Guides add new sections on:

  • certifications and seals of approval
  • carbon offsets
  • free-of claims
  • non-toxic claims
  • made with renewable energy claims
  • made with renewable materials claims.

The FTC, however, is not providing guidance on claims such as, “organic,” “natural,” and “sustainable” in order to avoid duplicating or contradicting the guidance/requirements of other agencies—or because it lacks sufficient basis to provide meaningful guidance. For instance, organic claims are regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program.

You can follow my multitasking on Twitter at @Tish_OFW

Stay tuned for our thoughts on these important developments!

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