California has a number of formal acts in law. The Fair Packaging and Labeling Act is contained in Division 5 of the Business and Professions Code (Weights and Measures), Chapter 6, which includes Sections 12601 through 12615.5. Chapter 6 was added by Chapter 1309 in 1969.
Section 12601 provides that Chapter 6 is designed to protect purchasers of any merchandise covered by its provisions from deception or misrepresentation. Packages and their labels should allow consumers to obtain accurate information on the quantity of the contents and should facilitate value comparisons. Further, “it is hereby declared that it is the policy of the Legislative Assembly to assist in the achievement of these objects”.
Section 12602 makes it illegal for anyone engaged in packaging or labeling any goods for distribution or sale, or for any person (other than a common carrier for hire, contract carrier for-hire or a for-hire freight forwarder) engaged in the distribution of any packaged or labeled goods, to distribute or cause to be distributed such goods if the goods are contained in packaging, or if a label is affixed to such goods, which do not comply with the provisions of this chapter or the regulations adopted under this chapter.
Further, the above prohibitions do not apply to persons carrying on business as wholesale or retail distributors of products, with certain exceptions.
Section 12603 provides that no person subject to the above prohibitions is permitted to distribute packaged merchandise unless it complies with regulations to be established by the Secretary. These regulations must fulfill specified conditions.
Section 12605 states that no person subject to the above prohibitions is permitted to distribute or cause to be distributed in commerce any packaged commodity if any qualifying words or phrases appear in conjunction with the separate statement of net quantity of contents required.
Further, no statement of quantity may be qualified by the addition of the words “minimum”, or “when packaged”, or words of similar scope; nor is there a term-qualified unit of weight, measure, or count (such as jumbo, giant, full, or the like) that tends to exaggerate the quantity of the commodity in the package.
Section 12606 states that no container in which goods are packed may have a false bottom, false sidewalls, false lid or lid, or be otherwise constructed or filled, wholly or partially, so as to facilitate the commission of deception or fraud. In addition, no container should be manufactured, shaped or filled in such a way as to mislead.
In addition, a container that does not allow the consumer to fully see its contents should be considered misleadingly filled if it contains non-functional soft filler. Non-functional soft fill is permitted under specified conditions. Any sealer may seize a container that facilitates the commission of deception or fraud and the contents of the container.
Section 12606.2 provides that this section applies to food containers subject to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. No food container should be made, shaped or filled in such a way as to mislead. A container that does not allow the consumer to fully see its contents should be considered filled to the point of misleading if it contains non-functional soft filler. Slack is the difference between the actual capacity of a container and the volume of product it contains. Non-functional soft filler is empty space in a package that is filled significantly below its capacity for reasons other than those specified.
In addition, if the requirements of this section do not impose the same requirements as those imposed by the federal food, drug and cosmetic law, this section is not applicable to the extent that it is not identical federal requirements. Any sealer may seize any container that violates this section and the contents of the container.
Section 12607 provides that whenever packaged goods are offered for sale, displayed for sale, or sold without a statement of net quantity appearing thereon as required by this chapter, the sealer shall in writing direct the sale of the merchandise and require that a correct declaration of net quantity be placed on the merchandise before it can be released by the sealer.
Section 12609 provides that the Secretary shall make such regulations as are necessary to carry out the object of this section and to test packages to verify net quantity representations.
Section 12610 provides that the Secretary may enact regulations similar to those promulgated by the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services or the Federal Trade Commission under the Federal Fair Packaging and Labeling Act to achieve specified goals.
Section 12611 states that it is illegal to pack, ship, or sell any goods in a container that does not meet all of the specifications in this chapter; or which is not conspicuously branded, branded or otherwise labeled as required by this Chapter; or on which any word, statement or other information required by this chapter is not prominently displayed, in terms and with such conspicuousness, from other words, statements, designs or devices on the label or container, that they are likely to be read and understood by ordinary persons under customary conditions of purchase and use.
Section 12612 provides that the sale of any goods packed in a container, in which the container and its contents comply with any act of Congress or rules or regulations promulgated thereunder.
Section 12613 provides that if any provision of this chapter is less stringent or requires information different from any requirement of the “Fair Packaging and Labeling Act”, the provision is of no effect to the extent that it is less stringent. or requires information different from federal law. requirement, in which case the federal requirement is part of this chapter.
Section 12615.5 provides that the violation of any provision of this chapter is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $25 and not more than $500) or imprisonment in the county jail for for a period not exceeding six months, or two fines. and imprisonment.