Walmart Still Reportedly Misusing “Made In U.S.A” Labels

The Federal Trade Commission may have dropped its probe into Walmart’s misuse of “Made in U.S.A.” labeling last fall, but an advertising watchdog group says a more recent analysis of the retailer’s website found it continues to label products with the designation even though they were manufactured in other countries. 

Truth In Advertising (TINA) urged the FTC in a letter [PDF] Tuesday to take steps to ensure Walmart complies with previous assurances that it would stop using the designation on its products.

In a letter sent to the FTC on Tuesday, TINA accuses Walmart of making hollow assurances that it would no longer misuse “Made in the U.S.A.” labels in order to end the regulator’s probe last year.

In fact, the watchdog group says a recent analysis of Walmart’s website found that the retailer continues to deceive consumers with misused “Made in the U.S.A.” labels on more than 100 products.

The latest random sampling includes products ranging from markers to baseball caps to diapers that, while listed as “Made in the U.S.A.,” are wholly manufactured overseas, in countries like China and South Korea.

“Unfortunately, not only were Walmart’s assurances false when it made them last year, but they continue to be false today,” the letter states.

According to TINA’s analysis of Walmart’s products, the alleged misrepresentations occurred in two ways: The U.S.-origin representations on conflict with origin information on the actual product package or the product is made in the U.S, but with imported parts.

TINA notes that while these products may be created in the U.S., according to the FTC’s standards, they cannot be advertised with an unqualified “Made in the USA” claim.


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“Given the time and resources available to Walmart, there is no justifiable excuse for the existence of false or deceptive “Made in the USA” representations on its website today,” the letter to the FTC states.

TINA claims that Walmart’s recent use of a “disclaimer” related to product origin labeling is ineffective and adds “insult to injury.”

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The disclaimer states that the “displayed country of origin information may not be accurate or consistent with manufacturer information.” It also notes that it is up to the consumer to check the product packaging or manufacturer information to accurately determine a product’s origin.

“In short, Walmart has shown itself unwilling to comply with FTC law despite the fact that it has had over a year to take corrective action,” the group tells the FTC. “Clearly, FTC intervention is needed at this time for if the largest retailer in the world is permitted to flout the law in such a persistent and egregious manner, it sends a clear message to all that Walmart is held to a different standard.”

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