Federal false-advertising law allows competitors (not just consumers claiming loss) to sue companies over allegedly false or unsubstantiated ad claims. Long-established result that will surprise only newcomers: big guys use the law to beat up little guys, as well as each other. “In March, a Supreme Court ruling widened the range of businesses that can sue other companies for false advertising under the federal Lanham Act, by allowing businesses that aren’t direct competitors to pursue claims.” [WSJ via Lexology]
Two years ago the city of Portland, Ore. became the first to adopt a voluntary policy against fragrance use in city offices. (A similar Detroit measure had been taken in response to a lawsuit.) Now Julee Reynolds, a city worker who says she suffers from multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), has sued Portland for allegedly not doing enough to enforce the policy. [KOIN; earlier here, here, etc.]
Class-action lawyers target L’Oreal’s Maybelline subsidiary. [WSJ Law Blog]
Lawyers have brought at least two class actions seeking to represent men who hoped pheromones in soap would attract women [Russell Jackson]
“The Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010 (SCA 2010), now before the House of Representatives, is an inappropriate and seriously flawed attempt to make cosmetics safer.” Disregarding considerations of dose and concentration, the bill would require label disclosure of every substance present in an ingredient “at levels above technically feasible detection limits.” Essential oils and herb extracts typically contain 100 or more such substances, some of which, in isolation and at much larger concentrations, would qualify as toxic. And there’s a CPSIA-like requirement that manufacturers test all ingredients before sale. “Most small personal care product businesses will not survive if SCA 2010 passes.” [fragrance specialist Robert Tisserand] The lead sponsors of the proposed Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010 (H.R. 5786) are Reps. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill. of CPSIA fame, Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc. [Drug Store News] More: Lela Barker, Cosmetics Design.