JUDICIAL:
CRYSTAL HILSLEY, Plaintiff, v. GENERAL MILLS, INC. et al., Defendants. Additional Party Names: Sanrio Co. Ltd., No. 3:18-CV-00395-L-BLM, 2019 WL 1369006 (S.D. Cal. Mar. 26, 2019)
Plaintiff, a consumer who purchased Defendants’ fruit flavored snacks multiple times, brought this putative class action alleging that the product label was misleading to consumers because it falsely claimed that the snacks had “no artificial flavors” and were “naturally flavored,” although they contained d-l malic acid as an artificial flavoring. According to the complaint, d-l malic acid is a “synthetic petrochemical.” It “confers a tart, fruit-like flavor” to “help[ ] make the Products – which are over 50% corn syrup and sugar – taste more like fruit.” Furthermore, Plaintiff contends that listing malic acid among the ingredients by its generic name is independently misleading to the consumers.
Plaintiff filed this action in State court, which Defendants removed. The Court has subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332.
The complaint alleges violations of California Unfair Competition Law, California False Advertising Law, and California Consumer Legal Remedies Act, as well as breach of express and implied warranties. The complaint was filed against General Mills, Inc. as the manufacturer and General Mills Sales, Inc. as the distributor (collectively “General Mills”). Also named were two advertising agencies and five media companies, which licensed the use of children’s cartoon characters for marketing. Defendants filed a motion to dismiss all claims under Rule 12(b)(6).
In this putative class action alleging deceptive food labeling, Defendants filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Plaintiff opposed, and Defendants replied. The Court decides this matter on the briefs without oral argument. See Civ. L. R. 7.1.d.1.  Defendants’ motion is denied in part and granted in part with leave to amend.

2-BAR RANCH LIMITED PARTNERSHIP, a Montana limited partnership; BROKEN CIRCLE RANCH COMPANY, INC., a Montana profit corporation; R BAR N RANCH, LLC, a Montana limited liability corporation, Plaintiffs, v. UNITED STATES FOREST SERVICE, an Agency of the United States Dep’t of Agriculture; SONNY PERDUE, in his official capacity as Sec’y of the United States Dep’t of Agriculture; VICTORIA CHRISTIANSEN, in her official capacity as Interim Chief of the Forest Service; LEANNE MARTEN, in her official capacity as Reg’l Forester for the N. Region; MELANY GLOSSA, in her official capacity as Forest Supervisor for the Beaverhead-Deerlodge Nat’l Forest, State of Montana; CAMERON RASOR, in his official capacity as Dist. Ranger for the Pintler Ranger Dist. in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge Nat’l Forest, Defendants., No. CV 18-33-BU-SEH, 2019 WL 1368086 (D. Mont. Mar. 26, 2019)
This matter is before the Court on the parties’ cross-motions for summary judgment. Plaintiffs 2-Bar Ranch Limited Partnership (“Two Bar Ranch”), Broken Circle Ranch Company, Inc. (“Broken Circle Ranch”), and R Bar N Ranch, LLC (“R Bar N Ranch”) (collectively “Plaintiffs”) seek judicial review under the Administrative Procedures Act (“APA”) of a series of United States Forest Service (“Forest Service”) decisions concerning Plaintiffs’ livestock grazing operations on a grazing allotment in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest. Both motions are ripe for merit disposition.
Plaintiffs’ Motion for Summary Judgment was granted in part and denied in part. The motion was granted as to Plaintiffs’ claims under the APA and NFMA that the Forest Service acted arbitrarily and capriciously in applying AULs to the Dry Cottonwood Allotment that did not comply with the 2009 Forest Plan. The motion was denied as to the balance of its claims.
The Federal Defendants’ Cross Motion for Summary Judgment was denied.

REGULATORY:

Proposed rule; partial withdrawal: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA; We are announcing a partial withdrawal of a proposed rule published in the Federal Register on December 16, 2015, that, if finalized, would have consolidated the regulations governing bovine tuberculosis and those governing brucellosis. Specifically, we are withdrawing those portions of the proposed rule that would have affected the provisions governing our domestic brucellosis and tuberculosis programs. We are taking this action after considering the comments we received following the publication of the proposed rule. Info HERE

Notice of public meeting and request for comments: U.S. Codex Office, USDA; The U.S. Codex Office is sponsoring a public meeting on April 9, 2019. The objective of the public meeting is to provide information and receive public comments on agenda items and draft United States (U.S.) positions to be discussed at the 45th Session of the Codex Committee on Food Labelling (CCFL) of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, in Ottawa, Canada, May 13-17, 2019. The U.S. Manager for Codex Alimentarius and the Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs recognize the importance of providing interested parties the opportunity to obtain background information on the 45th Session of the CCFL and to address items on the agenda. Info HERE

Notice of solicitation of applications: Rural Housing Service, Department of Agriculture;

The Rural Housing Service (Agency), an Agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), announces the acceptance of applications under the Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) program. Applicants must provide matching funds in an amount at least equal to the Federal grant. These grants will be made to qualified intermediary organizations that will provide financial and technical assistance to recipients to develop their capacity and ability to undertake projects related to housing, community facilities, or community and economic development that will support the community.

This Notice announces that the Agency is accepting fiscal year (FY) 2019 applications for the RCDI program. Successful applications will be selected by the Agency for funding and subsequently awarded from funds appropriated for the RCDI program. The Agency will publish the amount of funding on its website at https://www.rd.usda.gov/​newsroom/​notices-solicitation-applications-nosas.Info HERE

Notice: Rural Business-Cooperative Service, USDA; This notice is to invite applications for grants to provide Technical Assistance for Rural Transportation (RT) systems under the Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG) to provide Technical Assistance for RT systems and for RT systems to Federally Recognized Native American Tribes’ (FRNAT) (collectively “Programs”) and the terms provided in such funding. Successful applications will be selected by the Agency for funding and subsequently awarded from funds appropriated for the RBDG program. The Agency will publish the amount of funding on its website at https://www.rd.usda.gov/​newsroom/​notices-solicitation-applications-nosas.Expenses incurred in developing applications will be at the applicant’s risk. Info HERE

Proposed collection; comments requested: Rural Business-Cooperative Service, USDA; In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Rural Business-Cooperative Service’s intention to request an extension for a currently approved information collection in support of the program for Socially-Disadvantaged Groups Grant Program. Info HERE

Notice of availability of Eligibility Criteria for Biomass Demonstration Projects: Forest Service, USDA. The Indian Tribal Energy Development and Self-Determination Act Amendments of 2017 amends the Tribal Forest Protection Act of 2004 to direct the Secretary of Agriculture (USDA), to enter into contracts or agreements with Indian tribes, and, in Alaska, tribal organizations to carry out demonstration projects to promote biomass energy production on Indian forest land and in nearby communities by providing reliable supplies of woody biomass from federal lands.The Act contains Eligibility Criteria required to be addressed by an Indian tribe or tribal organization in their application to the Secretary, in order to enter into Biomass Demonstration Projects. The Eligibility Criteria are required to be made publically available not later than 120 days after the date of the Act’s enactment. The Act also contains Selection Criteria, which will be used, without modification, by the Secretary to evaluate applications submitted. The Act’s Eligibility and Selection Criteria will be used, without modification, to select biomass demonstration projects on lands under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of Agriculture. Info HERE

Proposed rule; partial withdrawal: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA; We are announcing a partial withdrawal of a proposed rule published in the Federal Register on December 16, 2015, that, if finalized, would have consolidated the regulations governing bovine tuberculosis and those governing brucellosis. Specifically, we are withdrawing those portions of the proposed rule that would have affected the provisions governing our domestic brucellosis and tuberculosis programs. We are taking this action after considering the comments we received following the publication of the proposed rule. Info HERE

Notice of meeting: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA. Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is announcing a meeting of the Plant Variety Protection Board (Board). The meeting is being held to discuss a variety of topics including, but not limited to, work and outreach plans, subcommittee activities, and program activities. The meeting is open to the public. This notice sets forth the schedule and location for the meeting. Info HERE

Notice and request for comments: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA. In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Agricultural Marketing Service’s (AMS) intention to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for an extension of a currently approved information collection, “National Sheep Industry Improvement Center” (OMB 0581-0263). Info HERE

Notice and request for comments: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA; In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Agricultural Marketing Service’s (AMS) intention to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget, for revision of a currently approved collection titled “Local Food Directories and Survey”.
Under the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946, as amended, AMS is responsible for conducting research to enhance market access for small and medium sized farmers. The role of the Marketing Services Division (MSD) of AMS is to facilitate distribution of U.S. agricultural products. This information is used to populate USDA’s National Farmers Market Directory and periodically market managers are invited to participate in a comprehensive survey assessing the farmers market sector. Beginning in 2020, the survey of the farmers market sector will be administered by the National Agricultural Statistical Service. Information will also be collected by AMS to populate the National Farmers Market Directory, as well as three additional local food directories: Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Directory, Food Hub Directory, and On-Farm Market Directory. All four directories are national in scope and provide free advertising for producers of local agricultural products. The directories also assist customers to locate local food enterprises. Info HERE

Solicitation for membership: National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board, Office of the Secretary, USDA; In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announces the opening of the solicitation for nominations to fill vacancies on the National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics (NAREEE) Advisory Board and its subcommittees. There is one vacancy on the NAREEE Advisory Board; nine vacancies on the National Genetic Resources Advisory Council; three vacancies on the Specialty Crop Committee; and eight vacancies on the Citrus Disease Subcommittee. Info HERE