Corey Day and Bao Vu Discuss Intricacies of Using ‘Made in the USA’ on a Spirit Label


In an article in Artisan Spirit Magazine, Corey Day and Bao Vu look at a few possible pitfalls for a distiller in labeling its product as “Made in the USA.” A final rule issued recently by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that governs use of the phrase is less than definitive and will likely lead to an increase in suits against businesses alleging deceptive use of the phrase.

Litigator Day and consumer products attorney Vu note that the FTC specifies that its new rule does not change any federal statute passed through congress or regulation issued by another agency that requires a manufacturer to list country of origin on its product labels. The FTC uses the USDA as an example of agency for which the FTC does not supersede its jurisdiction. It does not address the alcohol industry.

The authors caution against assuming that the TTB, the agency that governs certain alcohol products, is subject to the same jurisdictional exemption, in part because the TTB does not have an express rule on the use of “Made in the USA” on the labels on the products it governs.

Day and Vu conclude: “… you should carefully consider whether the juice is worth the squeeze when it comes to listing ‘Made in the USA’ on your product. When in doubt, leave it out (or consult an attorney).”

Read the full article here.

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