Comment: Labeling one thing as another...

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Labeling one thing as another...

...is not fraudulent per se. Fraud does not consist in any objective facts. That is, whether an action is fraudulent cannot be determined solely on the basis of objective facts; whether an action is fraudulent depends on the understanding of the parties concerned. For example, Bob might sell a package labeled "corn" to Jones. Suppose this is actually GMO corn, and suppose that by the normative (or statutory) definition of "corn" this does not count as corn. By your approach, therefore, this would be fraud per se. But that's wrong. It's only fraud if Jones was mislead. If Jones understood that it was GMO corn, there's no fraud.

This is the problem with official definitions of products. It makes mislabeling itself the crime, when it is not the mislabeling itself which is the crime, but the misrepresentation, and there may be misrepresentation regardless of labeling, whether things are labeled in accordance with the official definition or not.

Criminalizing labeling that doesn't follow the official definitions is an injustice, and it's simply not necessary. You can protect people against fraud and torts on the basis of the existing laws governing fraud and torts, and without reference to any official definitions of products at all.

As for enforcement, if I read the law correctly, it sounds like anyone can file suit for mislabeling, correct? That is, you don't have to have been defrauded or harmed by a product to sue? That is an injustice as well. Only the victim of a crime has the right to sue the criminal. And, in practice, it suggests to me that the government might be the plaintiff in many of these suits.

"Alas! I believe in the virtue of birds. And it only takes a feather for me to die laughing."