PHILADELPHIA, PA, August 20, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- As a lawyer in training and a dedicated student of the First Amendment, Zachary Navit
maintains an obvious interest in cases dealing with potential First Amendment issues such as the violation or upholding of free speech throughout the country. As such, a recent article released by NewsWorks dealing with the marketing rights of food producers has caught his legal attention.
The article deals with how food manufacturers are allowed to market their gluten-free products. As the article explains, gluten-free foods have recently become something of a consumer sensation. For those with allergies to gluten, gluten-free food products significantly expand the range of foods that they can safely eat. Others are taking to gluten-free foods as a means of helping speed along weight loss.
But in their hurry to capitalize on the gluten-free fad, many food manufacturers were taking significant leeway with what they could and could not label as gluten-free, says the article.
This changed just last week, however, with a new regulation released by the Food and Drug Administration that further specifies what manufacturers are allowed to market as gluten-free. According to the FDA mandate, these food products are only allowed to utilize the gluten-free label if they contain 20 parts per million or less of gluten. Otherwise, manufacturers are not allowed to use the hot new label on their products.
So how does the First Amendment come into play? According to the article and to student of the First Amendment Zachary Navit, very briefly, and not in the way that many manufacturers may think. "Despite what some producers and marketers are trying to argue, their First Amendment rights to freedom of speech are not being violated in cases such as this," says Navit of the situation. "In fact, they're not even on the table as anything to consider one way or the other in this situation."
This, says Navit, is because the First Amendment makes a distinction between two different types of speech: ideological and political speech and commercial speech. "Any speech that is political, ideological, religious, or otherwise deals with personal belief and values is covered by the First Amendment," explains Navit. "Attempts to regulate this type of speech are where court cases are formed and discussions need to be had about how far First Amendment rights extend."
But for commercial speech, says Zachary Navit, the First Amendment has less coverage. "Commercial speech is allowed to fall under government regulation," Navit explains, "This helps keep companies from making misleading, dangerous, or otherwise false claims when marketing their products to consumers."
Because of this, says Zachary Navit, the FDA acts well within its rights and boundaries whenever it tells a food manufacturer what they can and cannot say when advertising to the public at large.
is a student of the Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America where he diligently researches and studies the First Amendment and the rights that it grants to United States citizens. He is working toward earning his Juris Doctorate in 2015, after which he plans to go into business helping people understand and secure their personal rights under the First Amendment's protection. He currently works in the state courts of Philadelphia as a law intern, where he performs legal research in addition to drafting and editing Memoranda.