National Consumers League

Statement on NCL v. McCormick & Company, Inc. and Giant of Maryland LLC

August 27, 2015

Contact: Cindy Hoang, National Consumers League, or (202) 207-2832

Washington, DC--On July 21, 2015, the National Consumers League filed a complaint in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia alleging that McCormick and Giant, through misrepresentations and false impressions, violated the District of Columbia Consumer Protection Procedures Act. Specifically, NCL alleges that these companies sold ground black pepper and peppercorns in a manner which disguised the true amounts and prices of the pepper sold to consumers in the District of Columbia. McCormick and Giant, allegedly as a means of disguising a recent pepper price increase, decreased the amount of pepper sold in their peppermills and in their metal tins (to which consumers have been accustomed over decades). Such “slack-filling,” forbidden under certain circumstances by the Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act, combined with confusing shelf labels and inaccurate check-out pricing, were intended to (and did) camouflage the price increases from consumers.


About the National Consumers League

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America's pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit