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Utah-based company under fire by FTC for “made in the USA” claims

May 12, 2022, 12:18 PM

Lions Not Sheep FTC...

FILE - This Jan. 28, 2015, file photo, shows the Federal Trade Commission building in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint against Utah-based company Lions Not Sheep over claims that products were made in the U.S. The company just signed a proposed settlement with the FTC over the claims.

Lions Not Sheep sells mostly t-shirts and hats on its website and social media. An FTC blog post about the company also mentioned the company sells through Amazon and Etsy.

The FTC complaint claimed that from May 10, 2021 through October 21, 2021, Lions Not Sheep removed tags from foreign countries and printed “Made in U.S.A” on shirt necks.

The FTC also claimed the company’s owner, Sean Whalen, said in a video he could hide the fact his shirts were made in China by ripping out the origin tags.

The proposed settlement includes a financial penalty and prohibits the company from making any claims that its products are made here unless a majority of the process actually happens here.

“Made in U.S.A.” labels are “an objective claim that companies must substantiate,” according to the FTC’s blog post.

The Lions Not Sheep’s “Frequently Asked Questions” webpage mentions that it sources blank t-shirts and hats from other countries. The company also links to the FTC’s guidelines on “Made in the U.S.A.” labels.

Related: A second Utah Starbucks announces plans to attempt to unionize

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Utah-based company under fire by FTC for “made in the USA” claims