JVC Hires Lobbyist for ‘Cultured’ Fight

Jewelers Vigilance Committee confirmed a report in Legal Times that it has hired a lobbying firm to prod the Federal Trade Commission to bar the word cultured for lab-grown gems.

JVC executive director Cecilia Gardner confirmed the group made the unprecedented move of hiring lobbyist Patton-Boggs—a prominent firm whose clients include Microsoft and various municipal and foreign governments—to press its case.

“We just felt that it was an important matter,” she said. “We felt we needed support to ensure that the FTC gave it their attention.”

In December, JVC and nine other industry trade associations formally asked the FTC to disallow the word cultured for lab-grown gems, arguing that it causes misconceptions among consumers.