Wal-Mart settles lawsuit alleging overcharges for meat
- Earlier this month, Wal-Mart agreed to settle a class action lawsuit that accused the retailer of improperly labeling weighted goods such as beef, pork poultry, fish and other products marked with unit pricing as those goods neared their expiration dates.
- Wal-Mart denied any liability or wrongdoing in the matter.
- As part of a settlement agreement, Wal-Mart has agreed to pay, on a claims-made basis, a minimum of $4.5 million up to a maximum of $9.5 million.
- The settlement stems from a lawsuit filed by Vassilios Kukorinis in February of 2019 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
- Kukorinis claimed that from February, 2019 to present day, Walmart advertised false unit prices for weighted goods placed on sale close to their respected expiration dates.
- Wal-Mart will fund a Qualified Settlement Fund to provide class members with the opportunity to submit a claim for payment.
R-CALF USA’s weekly address
- On July 15th, 2020, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a proposed rulemaking titled, ‘Made in USA Labeling Rule.’
- This rule proposes to strengthen the FTC’s made in USA labeling requirements to reserve the USA label only for products in which among other things all significant processing that goes into the product occurs in the U.S. and all of the product’s ingredients are made and sourced in the U.S.
- The FTC is specifically seeking public comments on whether there are any current statutes, rules or policies that may conflict with the FTC’s proposal.
- According to Bill Bullard there is a conflict. While the FTC wants to ensure that only products actually made in the U.S.A. carry a U.S.A. label, the Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, has a policy that states that foreign beef product that enters the U.S. and is subject to only minor processing, such as being taken out of a big box and packaged in smaller boxes can bear a product of U.S.A. label. This is the very kind of conflict the FTC needs to hear about.
- The USDA’s policy that allows a U.S.A. label on imported beef deceives consumers and should be considered deceptive.
- The FTC comment deadline is September 14th.
- R-CALF is now encouraging folks to submit comments supporting the FTC’s proposal, but only beef that is born, raised, and harvested in the U.S. should be eligible for a made in the U.S.A. label.
- To submit your comments, go to regulations.gov and type in made in U.S.A. labeling rule, and then go to the comment box to submit your comments.
- According to Bullard, this could be a very important first step in waking our sleeping representatives in D.C. about the importance of accurately informing consumers about the difference between domestic beef and foreign beef that has lesser standards than beef here in the U.S.
Boxed beef prices
- Choice boxed beef: $231.45 (+1.77)
- Select boxed beef: $214.11 (+1.85)