CRN NY State lawsuit update: Dispatch from SupplySide East 2024


CRN's Steve Mister updates Nutritional Outlook about its ongoing litigation against NY State. The organization sued the state to prevent the enforcement of law that bans sale of weight management supplements to minors.

Excerpt from the conversation with Steve Mister, president and CEO of CRN:

“So, we had our preliminary conference with the the judge last week. CRN was on the line as well as the Attorney General's office. I thought he asked some really insightful questions of both sides. Then he set up a briefing schedule on that motion. That was a very quickturn around. So, all those briefs had to be in by Monday night. Today's Wednesday and...we're waiting to hear something from the judge, but it'svery clear to us the judge appreciates the time frame on this and the fact that, you know, come Monday [the 22nd] if nothing has happened, retailers could be vulnerable to being prosecuted...

“One of our arguments is that the law is so vague as to what is a weight loss product or a muscle building product thatmarketers and retailers don't really know what's in and what's out. And as a result of that, they have to be overly cautious because nobody wants to have a $500 fine.And that leads companies to chill legitimate commercial speech. And so, he seemed to really ask a lot of questions about... what is outside of the law, how far does this go, and what is the impact on a marketer if they can't make legal claimsthat would be lawful under federal law, but now they're afraid to make them in New York because they don't want to trigger the age restrictions.

[The judge was] very fixated on that, and then he also even asked about whether the very act of having age restrictions is a form of compelled speech. Because you know the 1st amendment is not only about being able to say what you want, but it's also about protecting your right not to say things that you don't want to say. The government can't make you say things, and so the judge asked a lot of questions about whether these age restrictions and the fact that they go after claims as opposed to an ingredient, if that is a form of compelled speech. So, we thought that was a really interesting area that he seemed to bevery interested in.”

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