Food Labeling

News & Analysis as of

Canada and Mexico to Seek Retaliatory Measures Following WTO’s Final Ruling Against U.S. Meat Labeling Law

On May 18, the World Trade Organization’s (“WTO”) Appellate Body upheld a ruling that U.S. country-of-origin labeling (“COOL”) requirements for meat continue to discriminate against imported livestock from Canada and Mexico...more

Impact of California Appellate Decision on Proposition 65 Actions Unclear

On April 28, 2015, the Environmental Law Foundation (“ELF”) filed a petition in the California Supreme Court for review of the Court of Appeal’s recent decision in Environmental Law Foundation v. Beech-Nut Nutrition Corp., et...more

USDA to Verify Non-GMO Claims

There is now a U.S. Department of Agriculture label for non-GMO claims. In a recent memo, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced that the USDA would verify non-GMO claims through the Agricultural Marketing Service’s...more

Locke Lord QuickStudy: “Certified Organic” — A Shield For Defendants Or A Sword For Plaintiffs?

Manufacturers and retailers of organic food products should take note that the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York has held that federal law governing the certification of organic and natural...more

Advertising Law - May 2015 #3

U.S. Supreme Court Could Decide Future of Privacy Law Class Actions - The future of consumer class actions alleging privacy violations may be in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court now that the justices have granted...more

USDA Establishing Non-GMO Labeling Program

In a memo to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) employees, Secretary Tom Vilsack revealed that the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is developing a non-GMO certification program. According to the Secretary, the program...more

Food Litigation Newsletter - May 2015

In This Issue: - RECENT SIGNIFICANT RULINGS ..Court Dismisses in Part “Natural” Claims ..Court Enters Partial Dismissal of “Handmade” Claims ..Court Dismisses Injunctive Relief Claim Allows Others to...more

Going The Distance To Limit Preemption

Anybody who watched the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight knows that a long fight does not necessarily make for an exciting fight. Thirty-six minutes of “action” can actually contain very little action. The exceedingly long...more

Food and Beverage News and Trends

KIND LLC faces challenges from FDA on its labeling claims. KIND LLC, a New York-based natural foods company, says it is working closely with the FDA to address issues raised by the agency in a warning letter over label...more

Harsh Words for KIND Bars

Kind, LLC received a rude awakening from the FDA when it notified the popular snack-maker that it was violating numerous federal regulations by allegedly misbranding four popular products. Kind is known for its widely-popular...more

Onward to Trial: Federal Court Rejects Vermont’s Motion to Dismiss GMA Lawsuit

Despite a stiff litigation challenge from the food industry, Vermont’s GMO-labeling campaign marches on. This week saw major developments in the suit brought by the Grocery Manufacturers’ Association and other food industry...more

Food and Beverage News and Trends

Judge rejects consumer claim concerning evaporated cane juice - On March 12, a US district judge in the Northern District of Illinois dismissed with prejudice a consumer lawsuit against the manufacturer of Healthy Grains...more

Recent Ninth Circuit Decisions in False Advertising Consumer Class Action Cases May Prevent Preemption and Relegate the Primary...

In two recent decisions, Reid v. Johnson & Johnson, __ F.3d __, Case No. 12-56726 (9th Cir. March 13, 2015) and Astiana v. The Hain Celestial Group, Inc., __ F.3d __, Case No. 12-17596 (9th Cir. April 10, 2015), the Ninth...more

Transgenic Salmon: A Primer on FDA Food Safety Regulations

When Meriwether Lewis tasted his first roasted morsel of a fresh Chinook salmon at a Shoshone camp along the Lemhi River (in modern day Idaho), he ate it with “very good relish.” It convinced him that “we were on the waters...more

USDA National Organic Program Instruction on Use of Brand or Company Names Containing the Word Organic

On August 14, 2014, the National Organic Program (NOP) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued its “instruction” to the accredited certifying agents (Certifiers) that certify operations to the USDA...more

Tripping the Light Cran-tastic: Ocean Spray Washes Away Attempted Class Certification

Class certification in false advertising cases often fails due to problems with the class itself such as ascertainability. But what happens when a class action plaintiff admits she didn’t rely upon the purportedly deceptive...more

False Advertising Claim Washed Away for Lack of Standing

The issue of whether a party has standing to litigate in federal court can end up sinking a lawsuit. And as one bottled-water litigant in the District of Maine recently found out, failure to satisfy the standing requirements...more

Food Labeling, Food Safety & Nutrition

From a national action plan on combating antibiotic-resistant bacteria in food-producing animals and a presidential task force on fishing and seafood fraud, to proposed rules on nutrition and supplement fact labeling, the...more

Advertising Law - April 2015

Pink Cadillac Not Included: Mary Kay Sues Over “Fraudulent Couponing Scheme” - According to a new federal court complaint filed by Mary Kay, Inc., online deal site RetailMeNot has tricked consumers with a “fraudulent...more

Court Of Appeal Upholds “Safe Harbor” Exemption From Prop 65 Warnings For Lead In Fruit Products

In a much anticipated decision, a California Court of Appeal has upheld a trial court ruling for the defense, finding that trace levels of lead in packaged fruits, vegetables and fruit juice products require no Proposition 65...more

Food Litigation Newsletter - March 2015 # 2

In This Issue: - RECENT SIGNIFICANT DEVELOPMENTS AND RULINGS ..Ninth Circuit Reverses Dismissal Based on Standing, Preemption ..Court Applies Common Sense Standard in Dismissing ‘No Refined Sugars’...more

Calif. Appellate Court Endorses Averaging Lead Exposure in Food and Beverage Prop. 65 Disputes

In a rare published decision concerning California’s expansive Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, commonly known as “Prop 65,” the California Court of Appeal on March 17, 2015, dealt companies a victory in...more

California Appellate Court Takes on Proposition 65 Warning Triggers

Auburn Courthouse Prop 65Recent attempts to modify California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, Proposition 65, have been the work of the California Legislature. (See A Sane Tweak To Proposition 65 and...more

Appellate Court Gets It Right: Realistic Product Use Data Can Be Used by Businesses to Defend Lawsuits

California’s First District Court of Appeal issued a unanimous and potentially far-reaching and precedent-setting decision on March 17, 2015, siding with businesses in our defeat of a lawsuit that sought to require cancer and...more

EPA Unveils Safer Choice Label

Last week, EPA unveiled the new Safer Choice label. According to the EPA website, a product with the Safer Choice label means that EPA scientists have reviewed every ingredient in that product to ensure they meet the rigorous...more

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