November 3, 2004 (Silver Spring, MD) -- It may be too early to determine the effect of yesterday’s national election on the herbal products and dietary supplement industry, but, according to media reports in California, voters in that state passed an initiative called Proposition 64, a result that will provide some relief to companies that do business in California.
The official title of Proposition 64 is “Limits on Private Enforcement of Unfair Business Competition Laws,” but it came to be known by its supporters as the “Stop Shakedown Lawsuits Initiative.” Both the Los Angeles Times and the San Francisco Chronicle report this morning that the initiative has passed, and the Times estimated a 58% approval rate. California’s Secretary of State has not posted official results as of the time of this AHPA Update.
Proposition 64 closes a loophole that has allowed trial attorneys to sue businesses even if they are not representing a victim or identifying actual harm. This initiative changes the law so that only people who have actually been injured or suffered loss due to an unfair business practice will still be allowed to bring a suit under the state’s Business and Professions Code, Section 17200. It also limits lawsuits on behalf of the public to state and local Attorneys General and requires that any monetary penalties that result from such suits be used exclusively to enforce consumer protection laws.
AHPA’s Board of Trustees had endorsed Proposition 64 and encouraged AHPA members who vote in California to support the passage of this initiative. AHPA’s interest stemmed from industry experiences where Section 17200 had been used to bring lawsuits against marketers of herbal products. Additional details can be seen in the November edition of the AHPA Report, available now on the AHPA website, www.ahpa.org, or by request to Karen Robin, AHPA Director of Communication (301) 588-1171, ext 107, email: [email protected]
The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) is the national trade association and voice of the herbal supplement industry, the only trade association devoted solely to herbal issues. AHPA is the recognized leader in representing the responsible center of the botanical trade, and is comprised of the finest growers, processors, manufacturers and marketers of herbal products. AHPA’s mission is to promote the responsible commerce of herbal products. AHPA committees generate self-regulations to ensure the highest level of responsibility with respect to the way herbs are manufactured, labeled and sold. Website: www.ahpa.org
Director of Communications
American Herbal Products Association
8484 Georgia Avenue, Suite 370
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Telephone: 301-588-1171 x107