FDA

* Lawyer explains to court how people illegally implanted a silicon chip in her head. No word on her feelings about Mondays. [Tampa Bay Times]

* How much juice content did Coca-Cola think allowed them to market a product as juice? The answer will actually surprise you unless you really, really hate Coke. [PR Log]

* Defendants should not have access to the Internet because they could beat someone to death with an iPad. I guess. [Lowering the Bar]

* Mobile crammers settle for $10 million. The charge will appear on their next month’s phone bill. [Law and More]

* Like most things in life, the path to victory involves beginning from the KISS principle. [Katz Justice]

* Of all the over-the-top immigration control efforts in this country, arresting a couple in bed for not being “married enough” is one of the craziest. [Sun Sentinel]

* The American Bar Association, fresh off loosening its accreditation standards, is actually trying to dupe kids into thinking this is the best time to attend law school. Check out this ad. And if you want to play with it in Photoshop, that would be cool too…

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That might sound like a stupid question. I mean, there’s a package right there in the refrigerator that says “hummus” on it. That guy from Arrested Development tells me it’s real hummus. If this country can allow defamation suits over suggesting that “pink slime” is not “ground beef,” why would anyone think to look further than face value on a foodstuff’s name?

But when it comes to hummus — a product that’s spurred legal battles before — the FDA is being dragged into the debate over what it really means to be a vegan’s replacement for protein delightful Mediterranean dip….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “What The Hell Is ‘Hummus’ Anyway?”

Despite the ever-growing ways that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulates what Americans can consume, FDA does not currently regulate genetically modified food. The State of Vermont wants to step in.

This week, Vermont will become the first state to mandate labeling of food products containing ingredients from genetically modified organisms (GMOs). It would require retailers of raw agricultural commodities to clearly and conspicuously label GMO-sourced food with the words “produced with genetic engineering.” (Think ears of corn in your supermarket’s produce section.) Producers of packaged food products must label their products with similar language if any ingredient contained in the product comes from a genetically modified source. (Think of that 56-ingredient protein bar sitting on your desk.)

The bill passed the Vermont House and Senate, and Governor Peter Shumlin just signed it into law yesterday. The law is scheduled to take effect in July 2016.

Why are some people so lathered up about eating ingredients that come from genetically modified crops? “Monsanto” has become a dirty word, with nouveau-hippie parents washing out their kids’ mouths with biodegradable, SLS-free soap when they hear them say it. Unfortunately, much public debate conflates genetic modification, exposure to pesticides, and all sorts of other “unnatural” stuff related to food.

Ironically, genetic modification of seeds aims to make crops more resistant to pests, disease, and drought, thus reducing the need for conventional chemical pesticides and increasing crop yields. A growing world population demands innovation to produce more crops with fewer resources. Billions of people need to eat. Too many GMO opponents seem to picture Dr. Frankenstein when they should be picturing Gregor Mendel or Mother Teresa. (Or, to be fair, Walter De Jong.)

That, however, is only the beginning of what’s foolish about Vermont’s new law . . . .

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Food Fight: Eating The Costs Of Not Eating GMO Food”


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently proposed
new rules targeting electronic cigarettes. By its authority under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, FDA now regulates “tobacco products” — cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco, and smokeless tobacco. The proposed regulation would “deem” additional products within the scope of the statutory definition of “tobacco product.” FDA would deem electronic cigarettes to be tobacco products, even though e-cigs don’t contain tobacco leaves. The deeming regulation would give FDA the power to govern e-cigs’ manufacture, sale, and use, implementing age restrictions, mandating additional scientific review of products, and scrutinizing claims made by the makers of e-cigs.

The new regulations would prevent e-cigarette manufacturers from telling consumers that their products are a safer alternative than tobacco cigarettes. The deeming regulations would prohibit claiming that vaporized nicotine “presents a lower risk of tobacco-related disease or is less harmful than one or more commercially marketed tobacco products.” In fact, the new rules would prevent them from even advertising to the public that their “product or its smoke does not contain or is free of a substance,” even though e-cigs do not produce smoke and do not contain tobacco in any common-sense meaning of the word.

Banning this sort of claims is absurd: e-cigs lack the more than 4,000 chemicals, many of them carcinogenic, of combustible tobacco cigarettes. Electronic nicotine vaporizers need not be particularly healthy in order to be less unhealthy than traditional cigarettes.

This regulatory push is poisoned by a bevy of bad arguments. Most of the rhetoric consists of pure emotion on the part of anti-tobacco activists. Certain anti-tobacco and anti-smoking factions grow hysterical at the mere specter of smoking. Unfortunately, a more powerful lobby is also trying to squelch e-cigs . . . .

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Smoke Signals: The Misinformation Behind FDA’s Proposed Regulation Of E-Cigarettes”

NO…. how will teens resist the power of Stephen Dorff?

Let me tell you something about “e-cigs,” or electronic cigarettes: they are the worst. Not worse than cancer… though that’s just a theory since I’ve had an e-cig but I haven’t had cancer. If cancer is anything like smoking an e-cig, I certainly don’t want to have cancer.

E-cigs are being advertised in national campaigns by Stephen Dorff and the incomparable Jenny McCarthy as a substitute for smoking regular cancer cigarettes, but they only serve that function if you are the kind of person who thinks that getting a vaccine can turn you into Stephen Dorff.

Tobacco was the first cash crop that made moving to North America a lucrative venture. E-cigs deliver nicotine liquid and turn it into water-vapor in an assortment of flavors that make you look like a giant douche. I wish scientists spent more time curing cancer so I could smoke a freaking cigarette instead of making plastic tubes that light up blue on the end so your friends can punch you in the face in the dark.

Left to their own devices, e-cigs would eventually be as cool as non-alcoholic beer. They’d just be another apparatus that signaled this to the world: “I’ve made horrible choices in my youth, but now I’m trying to change.”

But now the government wants to get involved and regulate the products. So children aren’t tempted to smoke them. Yes, because if there’s one thing that doesn’t tempt children, it’s making something forbidden…

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* The D.C. Circuit has banned the import of Sodium Thiopental, putting a crimp in the plans of any state looking to administer lethal injections. This is where Delaware has it right… no one is going to outlaw rope. [The Volokh Conspiracy]

* Steve Cohen didn’t read 89 percent of his emails. In his defense, “I think I’m guilty of insider trading” and “I am a Nigerian Prince” are probably both getting caught by the spam filter. [DealBreaker]

* Sequestration has put the pinch on the rights of indigent federal defendants to receive legal representation. But at least our airlines are shielded from hardship. [PrawfsBlawg]

* “Just as Justice Scalia predicted in his animated dissent, by virtue of the present lawsuit, “the state-law shoe” has now dropped in Ohio.” [USA Today]

* Wire Lawyer is running a competition among law school alumni to see which schools are the most technologically progressive. What do you know, people from Seattle and California are winning a technology competition. [Wire Lawyer]

* Hall of Famers Art Monk and Darrell Green have joined the movement to get Washington to stop using the ‘Redskins’ name. [ESPN]

* Bloomberg takes a look at the legal controversy brewing around unpaid internships. Video after the jump… [Bloomberg Law via YouTube]

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Here are three true statements:

(1) Monopolies are generally illegal.
(2) Like baseball, patents make monopoly laws get a little funky.
(3) Courts really really really like to encourage settlements.

So, when two companies get together, and work out a settlement that makes a whole patent infringement lawsuit go away, and the only objection is that pesky Federal Trade Commission complaining that the settlement is anticompetitive, you can understand why a federal court could meditate on points (2) and (3) and dismiss that FTC complaint.

Yet, in FTC v. Actavis, the Supreme Court yesterday made it harder to settle some patent infringement suits, saying that sometimes a settlement of a lawsuit can be an antitrust problem.

How?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “When Buying Off A Litigant Is Also Buying Off A Competitor”

Make it rain, law schools!

* With the Supreme Court’s term winding quickly to a close, it’s likely that conservative justices will write for the majority in some of the most closely watched and controversial cases. Uh oh. [Washington Post]

* Judge Edward Korman, the man who slapped around the FDA like it owed him money in a ruling over access to the morning-after pill, is actually a very soft-spoken, kind-hearted fellow. [New York Times]

* Wherein a Chicago Law professor and a Vedder Price partner argue that instead of cutting law school down to two years, financial aid should be given out like candy. Hey, whatever works. [Bloomberg]

* Brooklyn Law’s got a whole lot of drama these days: Their president is stepping down, their dean is apparently still a full-time partner at Patton Boggs, and a law professor is suing over alleged ABA violations. [New York Law Journal]

* That’s not the only New York-area law school awash in scandal. Chen Guangcheng has received the boot from NYU Law due to alleged harm done to the school’s relationship with China. [New York Times]

* When questioned about the need for his school, Indiana Tech’s dean says the lawyer oversupply and lack of jobs don’t matter. It’s about the quality of the graduate. Good luck with that! [Journal Gazette]

* This came too soon (that’s what she said). The alleged porn purveyors at Prenda Law will close up shop thanks to the costly litigation surrounding their copyright trolling. [Law & Disorder / Ars Technica]

* Fort Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Hassan won’t be allowed to use a “defense of others” strategy in his murder trial, because not only does it fail as a matter of law, but it’s also ridiculous. [Associated Press]

* Harvard Law grad Cate Edwards, daughter of disgraced pol John Edwards, took a dramatic step away from her father’s tabloid-esque pubic interests by opening her own public interest firm. [WJLA ABC 7]

* Judge Thomas Jackson, well-known for his antitrust ruling against Microsoft, RIP. [New York Times]

* The Kardashians are suing their father’s widow for allegedly trying to exploit his diary — because the Kardashians object to anything exploitative. [Courthouse News Service]

* Judge Edward Korman ruled that the FDA must stop requiring those under 17 years old to present a prescription for the morning after pill. MTV’s programming executives plan to appeal. [Huffington Post]

* Wow. A partner at Alston & Bird decided to take to Facebook to troll a solo practitioner. Because that’s not douchey at all. [Rowland Legal]

* Do litigators really need instruction not to scream at witnesses? [Roll on Friday]

* A school in Massachusetts privatized school lunches, and then that company told its workers to dump the food of students who were in default on their lunch tickets. America! F**k Yeah! [Lawyers, Guns and Money]

* Illegalities sums up the malaise of being a Biglaw associate with this reblog. [Illegalities]

* Target learns the value of editing after labeling plus-sized dresses with the word “Manatee.” [Forbes]

* After the jump, watch Elie discuss his take on Democrats just coming around to supporting gay rights. Maybe McKayla Maroney rubbed off on Elie during their interview, because in this segment, he’s not impressed….

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Mr. Burns: Since the beginning of time, man has yearned to destroy the sun. I shall do the next best thing: block it out.
Mr. Bloomberg: Yes. The people must be protected from the sun’s harmful UV radiation!
Mr. Burns: Umm, sure, whatever. [Activates Sun Blocker]
Mr. Bloomberg: Excellent.

I fully believe that Bloomberg would ration sun time if he could — or at the very least force everybody to wear sunscreen. Like your mother, he simply thinks that he knows what is better for you and what you should be allowed to do. And he’s willing to use any means necessary, fair or unfair, legal or illegal, to make you do what he thinks you should be doing.

The latest: since he can’t force stores to display horrific images with the purchase of cigarettes, he now wants to prohibit stores from displaying cigarettes at all.

Will the courts smack him down again?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Next From The Nanny State: Bloomberg Tries To Make You Not Think About Cigarettes”

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