Labeling “Made in USA” and “Made in California”

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, April 29, 2016 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

Earlier this week, the Assembly Judiciary Committee heard AB 2827 by Assemblymember Marc Levine (D-San Rafael) that provides California companies an opportunity to remedy minor labeling discrepancies for the “Made in California” and “Made in USA” labels, prior to a civil action.

California law allows companies to use the “Made in the USA” label if the product contains 95 percent domestically-produced content, or 90 percent of the content if the remaining content could not be made or obtained from within the United States. The law also outlines parameters for the “Made in California” program allowing a product to be labeled “Made in California” if at least 51 percent of the final product was manufactured, assembled, fabricated or made in California

This expands upon existing law and came about in light of several recent legal actions taken against businesses accused of misleading their customers by declaring that their products were “Made in California” or “Made in America”. Assemblymember Levine stated, “Most of the accused companies are personal care products companies as they ship products all over the world, they label their products with a country of origin -- required in many other nations.”

Some companies testified in committee that they had received letters demanding they take actions such as a recall of all products from the shelves, full refunds to customers who purchased the product, correcting the label on all future products and paying all attorney fees as necessary. If not, companies would be forced to spend excessive amounts of money either fighting a case or paying huge settlements.

AB 2827 establishes a 33-day window for a company to “cure” an allegation that a company violated “Made in California” and “Made in USA” labeling requirements. The ‘right-to-cure’ is similar to one that exists with regard to disability access and some labor law claims. Right-to-cure provisions represent a real, necessary protection from predatory lawsuits that cost California manufacturers to fight, win or lose.

CMTA supports AB 2827. Unfortunately, due to some concerns that were raised in committee, the author was asked to take amendments and bring the bill back for a vote in the same committee (Assembly Judiciary) next week.

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