MFA NEWS SCAN UPDATE AUGUST 4, 2014

MFA NEWS SCAN UPDATE AUGUST 4, 2014


- Monday, August 18, 2014



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MA DIVISION OF STANDARDS STATES POSITION ON ITEMS CONFLICTING PRICE ACCURACY GUARANTEE

Questions have arisen regarding the state’s “Item pricing guarantee” laws, (M.G.L Chapter 184 E) and regulations (Section 202 CMR 7.07) with regards to items that can or cannot be given away free under the price accuracy guarantee requirements from retailers who have obtained a waiver to the state’s item pricing laws/regulations and have conformed to a price scanner system.  Due to statutory or regulatory prohibitions, items such as alcohol, cigarettes and milk cannot be included in the item pricing guarantee, meaning they cannot be given away free if the purchase price is under ten dollars and they are incorrectly priced.  The Division of Standards has issued its official position regarding the apparent conflict with the Item Pricing Price Accuracy Guarantee under the state’s item pricing waiver regulations.  The Division has stated;”Whereas, the item cannot be given away free due to requirements in other applicable state law and/or regulations pertaining specifically to that item the customer receives the item at the correct price.  Absent any state law or regulation at this time regarding customer compensation regarding these items the Division encourages all retailers to provide the customer with a store credit on a par with the Price Accuracy Guarantee requirements to compensate the consumer for the overcharge and inconvenience.”

 

USDA Request for Information

from Retailers on SNAP Redemption Data

On Monday, August 4 the USDA released an announcement that they are seeking public input concerning a proposal to provide more information to the public about the amount of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits used by participants at individual grocery stores and retailers.  USDA's goal is to provide as much transparency as possible on retailer data within the limits of the law as part of the Obama Administration's ongoing effort to make government more open and accountable and increase transparency.  USDA will consider input from a wide variety of stakeholders through a Request for information (RFI) in their Federal Register.  The RFI seeks public comment on several questions related to the transparency of SNAP retailer redemption information and is a result of a lawsuit filed by the Argus Leader newspaper in SD against USDA demanding access to SNAP redemption sales figures.  USDA lost at trial and again on appeal, according to NGA this RFI appears to be an effort to gain input from retailers to help guide the USDA moving forward.

 

WTO Panel Releases COOL Compliance Report

According to the National Grocers Association, several publications recently reported that the World Trade Organization (WTO) has released its compliance report to the litigating parties in the country-of-origin labeling dispute between the United States and Canada and Mexico.  According to the Washington Trade Daily, the report indicated that some changes to the 2013 "born, raised, and slaughtered" rule would be required.  The report is expected to be formally released to the public in September.  In addition, 112 Members of Congress penned a letter to USDA Secretary Vilsack urging him to suspend the COOL rules if the WTO finds that the United States is not in compliance with its trade obligations. NGA continues to work with Congress and the COOL Reform industry coalition to find a solution to the costly mandate.


 

NLRB Ratifies Administrative Actions Taken by Unconstitutional Board 

In July, the NLRB ratified personnel appointments and administrative decisions it made during the period it lacked a constitutional quorum. These actions come shortly after the NLRB v. Noel Canning unanimous Supreme Court ruling that NLRB board members were appointed unconstitutionally in a 19-month period in 2012-2013. The NLRB found that all of the administrative and personnel decisions approved by the unconstitutional board were "timely and appropriate."  This action did not address labor dispute cases during the same time period that have been set aside by the board. 

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MFA NEWS SCAN UPDATE AUGUST 4, 2014


- Monday, August 18, 2014



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