USDA WARNS OF SNAP PHISHING ATTEMPT
USDA officials learned late Friday afternoon, March 16th, 2012, that fraudulent letters are being sent by FAX to individuals and businesses in at least four states. The letters purportedly come from a USDA procurement officer and seek personal information. These letters are false and in no case should a recipient respond with personal and financial information. The fraudulent letters bear USDA’s logo and seal and are signed by an individual identified as “Frank Rutenberg” using a title of “Senior Procurement Officer”. Letters have been received by FAX in Alabama, Nebraska, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, but may have also been sent to other states. Recipients should not respond and should not supply the requested information. USDA is investigating this matter through the Office of the Inspector General. If you suspect you have received such a letter or have questions please contact USDA at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 202-720-9448.
GRAPHIC CIGARETTE WARNINGS FOUND NOT TO IMPEDE FREE SPEECH
On March 19 a federal appeals court ruled that requiring graphic warnings on packs of cigarettes does not impede on free speech rights, following a February 29 decision by a federal judge in Washington who stated that the requirement does violate cigarette makers’ free speech rights. The labeling requirement was made mandatory by the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. The requirement was challenged by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company and the Lorillard Tobacco Company, along with other makers and sellers of tobacco products. The proposed warning labels would cover half of the front and back of cigarette packages. U.S. District Judge Richard Leon’s February decision found that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulation violated the free speech of tobacco companies. However the federal Appeals Court ruled that the warning labels do not impose any restriction of the plaintiff’s dissemination of speech. Those who filed suit claim the regulations would in effect make them become anti-smoking advocates while trying to sell their own legal products.
FDA CONSIDERS BPA BAN
According to the Griffin E-News, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will soon decide whether to ban the use of Bisephenol A (BPA) in food packaging. BPA is an industrial chemical that causes reproductive and fetal development problems as well as prostate problems. In the U.S, several states have enacted laws against the use of the chemical in infant bottles. Although it maintains that BPA in its can is safe, the Campbell Soup Co, said last week it will stop using BPA in the lining of its cans and will switch to other packaging alternatives.
FMI REPORT DETAILS TRUE COST OF DEBIT CARD FRAUD
An FMI report on debit card fraud shows that 85% of cases are with transactions completed using a signature instead of a PIN. Food retailers would pay $3.17 billion for fraud prevention if they allowed debit cards at the same rate as other stores, according to the report. "We believe it's inappropriate for food retailers to shoulder the cost burden of more fraud-prone signature cards," said FMI President and CEO Leslie Sarasin. Read more about the report. Progressive Grocer.
MERCHANTS SPEND $6.47 BILLION ANNUALLY TO PREVENT CREDIT AND DEBIT CARD FRAUD
FMI issued a report demonstrating the cost associated with shouldering debit card fraud prevention. Read more about the report and a letter to the Federal Reserve.