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Potential Class Actions Against Fairlife Farms for Fraudulent Animal Welfare Representations

The Chicago Tribune recently reported that lawsuits seeking class action certification for consumers who were misled by Fairlife’s marketing regarding its treatment of cows used to produce dairy gathered in federal court in front of U.S. District Judge Robert Dow Jr. in Chicago. This follows an October order by the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ordering the transfer of all such cases to the Northern District of Illinois.

Peak Meat Consumption Must Occur Within Decade, Scientists Warn

Over fifty scientists have signed a letter published in the Lancet Journal of Planetary Health calling on governments to set limits on animal farming in order to comply with targets set by the Paris Agreement. According to these scientists, worldwide meat consumption must peak and then decline within the next ten years in order to meet those goals.

Vermont Proposes Meat Labeling Law

Vermont Senate Bill 206 would deem any meat or meat food product misbranded if the product was not “derived from or harvested from a carcass of cattle, bison, sheep, swine, domestic rabbits, or goats or from a poultry carcass.” The bill also prohibits selling or distributing any product labeled as meat, a meat product, poultry, or a poultry product unless that product contains “the part of the muscle of any cattle, bison, sheep, swine, goats, horses, mules, or other equines that is skeletal or that is found in the tongue, in the diaphragm, in the heart, or in the esophagus, with or without the accompanying and overlying fat, and the portions of bone, skin, sinew, nerve, blood vessels that normally accompany the muscle tissue and that does not include the muscle found in the lips, snout, or ears” or the carcass of “any domesticated bird.” Conviction for violations of this law could result in two years of imprisonment, a $10,000 fine, or both, and it would leave the offender open to civil liability of $10,000 for each product in violation of the law.

Vermont Proposes Milk Labeling Law

Vermont Senate Bill 207 proposes to criminalize selling or distributing a food product labeled as “milk” or as a “dairy product” that is not or is not derived from “the pure lacteal secretion” of a cow or other livestock, unless that product conforms to a standard of identity adopted by the Food and Drug Administration. An offense would be punishable by two years of imprisonment, a $10,000 fine, or both, and it would leave the offender open to civil liability of $10,000 for each product in violation of the law.

Smithfield Foods Sued Over “Safest” Pork Claims

The Organic Consumers Association, represented by the Richman Law Group, has filed suit against Smithfield Foods, alleging that the company’s representation of its products as the “safest” on the market is false and misleading.

Wuhan Bans Consumption of Wild Animals

The city of Wuhan, China has banned the consumption, breeding, and hunting of wild animals amid mounting pressure for the country to regulate the wildlife trade.

New York Considers Allowing Agreements Between Agricultural Commissioner and Animal Welfare Organizations

New York Assembly Bill A10531 proposes to amend the state’s agriculture and markets law to allow the commissioner to enter into agreements with animal welfare organizations “to support the prevention of, preparedness for, response to, and recovery from emergencies and disasters affecting animals” in the state.

Groups Challenge FDA’s Approval of New Drug for Cows Raised for Beef

The Animal Legal Defense Fund, Food & Water Watch, and Food Animal Concerns Trust have filed suit against the Food and Drug Administration, challenging the agency’s approval of a drug intended to decrease the amount of ammonia gas released from the waste produced by cows raised for beef.

FSIS Proposes Voluntary USDA Inspection of Yak

The Food Safety and Inspection Service has proposed to include yak and other farmed Bovidae, Cervidae, and Camelidae species among the “exotic animals” eligible for voluntary USDA inspection. The agency is accepting comments on the proposed rule until July 31, 2020.

Bill Introduced to Amend Federal Meat Inspection Act

H.R. 7162 proposes to amend the Federal Meat Inspection Act in order to allow the interstate sale of state-inspected meat. The full text of the bill is not yet available