The FTC announced an enforcement action against Instant Brands LLC, manufacturer of Pyrex-brand products, for allegedly marketing certain glass measuring cups as “Made in USA” and “American as Apple Pie” while importing those products from China. A proposed consent order would require Instant Brands to pay a monetary judgment of $129,416 and comply with the agency’s requirements for marketing a product as made or assembled in the United States.
In its complaint, the FTC alleges that Instant Brands moved production of certain Pyrex measuring cups from the U.S. to China between May 2021 and March 2022 in response to an increase in consumer demand for baking products during the COVID-19 pandemic. The FTC claims Instant Brands continued to market the imported products online as domestically made, fulfilling more than 110,000 orders with cups marked with a statement “Made in China”, in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act.
As part of the consent order, Instant Brands will be required to pay a $129,416 judgment and agree to several restrictions on its ability to claim that its products are made or assembled in the United States. The order prevents Instant Brands from making unqualified U.S.-origin claims for its products unless it can show that the final assembly or processing—and all significant processing—of the products occurred in the United States using all or virtually all U.S.-sourced components. The order also requires Instant Brands to clearly disclose the extent to which a product contains foreign parts, ingredients, or processing if making a qualified “Made in USA” claim. Finally, Instant Brands is prohibited from claiming a product is assembled in the United States unless the product was last substantially transformed in the U.S., its principal assembly takes place in the U.S., and U.S. assembly operations are substantial.
This case is only the latest example of FTC enforcement against allegedly false and misleading “Made in the USA” claims. Companies marketing their products as “Made in USA” should consult the FTC’s Enforcement Policy Statement on U.S. Origin Claims and Made in USA Labeling Rule to ensure compliance with FTC requirements.