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TTB NEWSLETTER | Weekly News

March 4, 2016


IN THIS ISSUE

Greetings! We hope you had an imaginative and sensitive week! This week's top stories include an offer in compromise accepted from Anheuser-Busch, LLC, the publication of final rules on two American Viticultural Areas, requests for comments on 13 TTB information collections, the USDA National Organic Program Notice of 2016 Sunset Review, and a list of the past week's top labeling resource pages at TTB.gov.

TTB ACCEPTS $300,000 FROM ANHEUSER-BUSCH, LLC TO SETTLE VIOLATIONS OF THE FEDERAL ALCOHOL ADMINISTRATION ACT

TTB has accepted a $300,000 offer in compromise from Anheuser-Busch, LLC for alleged violations of the trade practice provisions of the Federal Alcohol Administration (FAA) Act.  The global settlement reached also resolves any and all alleged violations of Anheuser-Busch wholesalers with respect to this program.

The allegations of trade practice violations stem from Anheuser-Busch’s Shock Top Lemon Shandy and Shock Top Pumpkin Wheat Ale End of Season Buy-Back Co-op programs.  The Bureau alleges that Anheuser-Busch’s violations of the Consignment Sales provisions of the FAA Act resulted in 540,920 cases being sold to its wholesalers/distributors located in states with similar state laws.

Under the Consignment Sales provisions of the FAA Act, it is unlawful for an industry member to sell, or for any trade buyer to purchase, alcohol beverage products with the privilege of return.  

TTB is committed to enforcing the trade practice provisions of the FAA Act so that the beverage alcohol marketplace remains fair and competitive.

Please visit www.ttb.gov for additional information on prohibited trade practices or to see this and other offers in compromise that have been accepted

TTB PUBLISHES TWO VITICULTURAL AREA FINAL RULES: WILLAMETTE VALLEY AND LOESS HILLS DISTRICT

On March 3, 2016, we published two final rules in the Federal Register, modifying an existing viticultural area in Oregon and establishing a new viticultural area in portions of Iowa and Missouri.

  • T.D. TTB–134 expands the existing “Willamette Valley” viticultural area in northwestern Oregon by approximately 29 square miles.  The expansion adds two vineyards covering 508 acres to the viticultural area. 
  • T.D. TTB–135 establishes the 12,897-square mile “Loess Hills District” viticultural area in western Iowa and northwestern Missouri.  This new viticultural area is not located within any other viticultural area. 

Both of these final rules are effective on April 4, 2016.  We issued these rulemakings in response to petitions submitted on behalf of local vintners and grape growers.  We designate viticultural areas to allow vintners to better describe the origin of their wines and to allow consumers to better identify wines they may purchase.

Read the press releases: TTB Expands the Willamette Valley Viticultural Area and TTB Establishes the Loess Hills District Viticultural Area.

PROPOSED INFORMATION COLLECTIONS; COMMENT REQUEST (NO. 58)

On February 24, 2016, we published in the Federal Register a notice requesting public comments on 13 TTB information collections (forms and recordkeeping requirements). To view all documents, including a complete list of the information collections open for comment, and any comments related to this notice, go to Docket No. TTB–2016–0001 on the Regulations.gov website. To submit a comment electronically, use the Regulations.gov comment form for this notice. To submit comments by postal mail or hand delivery, see the instructions in the notice. Comments are due by April 25, 2016.

NATIONAL ORGANIC PROGRAM: USDA ORGANIC REGULATIONS

Alcohol beverages labeled with organic claims must be made in compliance with the U. S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service National Organic Programs regulations. On February 23, 2016 USDA published in the Federal Register a final rule concerning the continued use of several non-organic and organic substances in the making and labeling of organic products.  Among the substances approved for continued use in the production of organic-labeled products is activated charcoal (from vegetative sources) for use as a filtering aid.

AGENCY: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.                        

ACTION: Notice of 2016 Sunset Review.

SUMMARY: This document addresses the 2016 Sunset Review submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) through the Agricultural Marketing Service’s (AMS) National Organic Program (NOP) by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) following the NOSB’s October 2014 and April 2015 meetings. The 2016 Sunset Review pertains to the NOSB’s review of the need for the continued allowance for seven substances on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List). Consistent with the NOSB’s review, this publication provides notice on the renewal of five synthetic and two nonsynthetic substances on the National List, along with any restrictive annotations. For substances that have been renewed on the National List, this document completes the 2016 National List Sunset Process.

DATES: This document is effective September 12, 2016.

Read the final rule.

 

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