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FEDERAL COURT RULING PERMITS ENVIRONMENTALISTS TO JOIN DEFENSE OF CALIFORNIA'S TRUTH IN ENVIRONMENTAL ADVERTISING LAW

 FEDERAL COURT RULING PERMITS ENVIRONMENTALISTS TO JOIN DEFENSE
 OF CALIFORNIA'S TRUTH IN ENVIRONMENTAL ADVERTISING LAW
 SAN FRANCISCO, July 24 /PRNewswire/ -- A group of environmental organizations won permission from a federal court judge today to join with the state attorney general in defense of California's truth-in- environmental-advertising law. The law, adopted in 1990, protects consumers from deceptive trade practices by manufacturers who use terms such as "recycled," "recyclable," or "biodegradable" to promote consumer products. Ten national manufacturing and advertising trade associations filed suit earlier this year to overturn the California law.
 "We are pleased to be included in the case," said Maria Savasta Kennedy, an attorney with the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund (SCLDF), who represented the environmental groups in today's court action. "Judge Patel's ruling makes clear that Californians Against Waste and the Environmental Defense Fund have a right to be involved in this case. We look forward to presenting the environmental perspective as the issues are thrashed out."
 Californians Against Waste (CAW) and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), proponents of the Green Marketing Law (AB 3994) and experts in recycling and environmental protection, filed the motion to intervene. Judge Marilyn Hall Patel of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California made the ruling in favor of the environmentalists.
 "Consumers need protection from the unscrupulous sales tactics used by some companies that claim their products benefit the environment," said Lance King, a spokesman for CAW. "We believe the industry is using free speech arguments in this lawsuit as a smoke screen. The central issue is the right of states to protect consumers from false and deceptive environmental marketing claims.
 "Thousands of products are being marketed with environmental claims," King noted. "California's Green Marketing Law is designed to deter abuse by over zealous marketers and protects businesses making legitimate claims from unfair competition."
 "This case is nothing more than an attempt to cloak deceptive advertising in constitutional garb," said EDF attorney Barbara Olshansky. "Environmental claims made in advertising and on product labels are clearly commercial speech and the Constitution provides no protection for such speech if it is deceptive," she said.
 -0- 7/24/92
 /CONTACT: Lance King of Californians Against Waste, 916-443-5422; Maria Savasta Kennedy of Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund, 415-627-6700; or Barbara Olshansky of Environmental Defense Fund, 212-505-2100/ CO: Californians Against Waste ST: California IN: SU:


DG-RM -- SF004 -- 3216 07/24/92 17:44 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 24, 1992
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