Erin Warren

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After remaining under seal for close to a year, an unusually exciting – well, exciting for lawyers, anyway – whistleblower (“qui tam”) case involving unclaimed gift cards in Delaware has now been unsealed and released to the public after Delaware state prosecutors independently investigated the claims and joined the case in March 2014.  The lawsuit was originally filed in June 2013 by William Sean French, a former officer of the primary defendant, Card Compliant LLC, against…
With worries over antibiotic-resistant “super bugs” on the rise, many consumers may assume that antibacterial soaps would help protect against unwanted bugs: not so fast, says the FDA.  Amongst growing concerns that the active ingredient in many of these soaps, triclosan, could be linked to hormonal effects and bacterial resistance, on December 17th, FDA published a proposed rule that would require makers of antibacterial soaps and body washes to prove that their products are safe…
On December 10th, with consumers decking the halls and swarming retail stores, the Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services, Kevin B. Sullivan, gave a warning to holiday shoppers that gift cards are not subject to sales tax in Connecticut. According to the Commissioner, shoppers should return to the store with their receipts and ask for a refund. With annual gift card sales forecast to reach approximately $118 billion this year – an amount…
Word on the street is that a big law went into effect last Tuesday.  President Obama’s healthcare law, you say?  Okay, fine, that answer is technically correct, but it’s not the only landmark legislation that took effect.  Moreover, the law we’re referencing did not trigger a massive government shutdown (much to the chagrin of various cosmetic and OTC drug manufacturers). California’s groundbreaking Safer Consumer Products (“Green Chemistry”) Regulations officially became effective October 1, 2013.   As…
Some would say that doing business in California can sometimes pose extra challenges.  Anyone who’s spent any time in the Golden State is, of course, familiar with omnipresent signs like the one above.  However, California has just taken a significant step forward in what could be described as an effort to reduce the presence of products that require such signs. In late August, California approved the Department of Toxic Substances Control’s (DTSC’s) landmark Safer Consumer
On August 13th, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a second version of its draft guidance on medical foods.  The draft guidance, “Frequently Asked Questions About Medical Foods; Second Edition,” amends and expands upon the original draft guidance published in 2007 by incorporating 15 new questions and answers. Specifically, the FDA addresses medical food labeling, physician supervision, and the scope of permissible diseases or conditions that medical foods may be labeled or…
On April 2, 2013, USDA released Draft Guidance here, here, and here addressing an issue that has plagued the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB”) for years: how to determine whether a substance is agricultural or non-agricultural and synthetic or non-synthetic. These determinations are paramount when considering whether a substance may be used in “organic” or “made with organic…” processed foods, as only specifically listed natural or synthetic nonagricultural substances that are included in the…
A ban on sugary drinks in NYC that was set to take effect today was put on hold by Justice Milton A. Tingling Jr. of State Supreme Court in Manhattan yesterday. The much discussed and debated law would have put a 16-ounce cap on sweetened bottled drinks and fountain beverages sold at city restaurants, delis, movie theaters, sports venues and street carts. The size limit applies to beverages that have more than 25 calories per…
This week, FDA finally published a December 2012 warning letter on its website, showcasing its first-ever enforcement action based on a company’s social media activity.  In the letter, FDA interprets a dietary supplement company “liking” a consumer testimonial posted to its Facebook website as an implied endorsement of the underlying claim content. The offending post, FDA observed, made an impermissible drug claim by implying that the company’s product was intended for use in the diagnosis,…
With the nation just having celebrated its 236th birthday, you probably still  have gifts on your mind. Great news—at least for now, you can pick up a gift card in New Jersey without giving up any personal information. As we noted in an entry earlier this Spring, a few prominent gift card sellers, including InComm, pulled their gift cards out of New Jersey in response to the Third Circuit’s holding affirming the 2010 Gift Card law’s…