The Federal Trade Commission has issued a proposed order to settle claims that a U.S. company deceived consumers with false, misleading, or unsupported claims that its water filtration systems and parts were all or virtually all made in the U.S. when many were either wholly imported or made with a significant number of parts from overseas. Public comments on this order are being accepted through March 3.

Under this order the company agreed not to make unqualified “Made in USA” claims unless it can show that (1) the product’s final assembly or processing, and all significant processing, takes place in the U.S., and (2) all or virtually all ingredients or components are made and sourced in the U.S. In addition, the company is barred from making any future country-of-origin claims about its products unless it possesses and relies on a reasonable basis for such claims.

The proposed order allows the company to make qualified “Made in USA” claims (i.e., claims that are limited in scope or applicability) as long as it includes a clear and conspicuous disclosure about the extent to which the product contains foreign parts, ingredients, or processing.

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