In an article by Gabriel Nelson on The New York Times website on February 3, 2010, "FTC Moves May Signal Start of 'Greenwashing' Crackdown," Pullman & Comley attorney Brad Mondschein commented on the impact of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) environmental marketing guidelines. The FTC is updating its Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims, or Green Guides, which define terms such as "recyclable" and detail how businesses should back up their environmental claims, for the first time since 1998.
According to Brad, although they are not law, courts would likely refer to these guidelines in emerging industries, "where there is little legal precedent."
"The Green Guides would become extremely persuasive to a court, especially in the early cases, because the courts would otherwise have very little guidance to go on," he said. "While they certainly won't be definitive, I would think they probably hold a lot of sway."
Brad has written about the guidelines in his Green Energy and Environmental Development Law Blog.