The makers of Spam canned lunch meat, Hormel Foods, Austin, Minn., have taken exception to the way their legendary product's name has been used to refer to junk e-mail.So the ratification of the CAN-SPAM Act (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing), which went into effect January 1, had to come as a relief to Hormel executives. If the law works as effectively as many hope, spam e-mail may disappear-along with the ubiquitous reference to Hormel's product name.

CAN-SPAM was designed to prohibit companies from sending fraudulent e-mails, as well as transmitting e-mails after objections from recipients. Insurers say they are pleased with the law-both what was included and what was left out.

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