Food Manufacturers

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

Avoiding a Rocky Road: Lessons For Manufacturers From Blue Bell Creameries’ Listeria Investigation

Ice cream maker Blue Bell Creameries has found itself in a sticky situation that underscores the importance of a having a comprehensive and robust compliance program, even for companies who do not manufacture consumer...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

Prepared Food Manufacturer, Golden County Foods, Inc., Cooks Up A Chapter 11 Case

On Friday, May 15, 2015, Golden County Foods, Inc. (“GCF”), a business that manufactures prepared foods, filed a voluntary chapter 11 petition in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. It was joined...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

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

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

More Developments on Section 75-1.1 and the Economic-Loss Rule

Our appetites, of course, are always whetted when section 75-1.1, the economic-loss rule, and the “substantial aggravating circumstances” doctrine intersect....more

Can One Bad Apple Spoil the Bunch?

According to their recent press release, Intrexon Corp (NYSE:XON) recently purchased a Canadian specialty food producer, namely Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc., the inventor of the “Arctic®” apple. ...more

Food Recalls Increase in First Quarter of 2015

Food producers are reporting a sharp rise in food recalls so far this year. During the first quarter of 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published notices of 118 food recalls (excluding pet foods), and the...more

From Dusk to Dawn: Battle Looming Over USDA Changes to Sunset Provision of Organic Rules

The USDA is facing a lawsuit in federal court stemming from its decision to unilaterally alter the process for exempting synthetic and non-organic substances used in producing organic food. Until September 2013, substances...more

Coke Walks Tightrope in ZERO Branding

As you may recall, last September we wrote about Coca-Cola’s Significant Interest in Zero Marks, discussing Coca-Cola’s defense of a trademark infringement suit brought by an individual named Mirza Baig, who claimed rights in...more

Food for Thought: Jail Sentences Send Strong Message to Food Industry

On Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Mark Bennett in Sioux City, Iowa, sentenced Austin (Jack) DeCoster and his son Peter to three months in jail for their role in selling contaminated food across state lines. Their company,...more

In Big Defense Win, Appellate Court Affirms that Proposition 65 Exposure Level Can Be Based on Average Consumption Over Time

In an important victory for defendants doing business in California, the California Court of Appeal recently affirmed a trial court’s decision holding that the defendants did not violate Proposition 65 (Prop 65), California’s...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

Real Parties in Interest Really Matter - GEA Process Engineering, Inc. v. Steuben Foods, Inc.

Citing the petitioner’s failure to identify all real parties in interest (RPIs), the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB or Board) vacated earlier decisions on institution and...more

Oregon Federal Court Weighs In on Disputed Umbrella Theory of Damages

An Oregon federal court recently relied on the so-called umbrella theory of damages to decide that the plaintiffs had an antitrust injury necessary to pursue an injunction. While this decision has garnered attention for...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

USDA NOP Releases New Policy Memo on Nanotechnology

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Organic Program (NOP) issued on March 24, 2015, a policy memorandum clarifying the status of nanotechnology in organic production and handling under the USDA organic...more

Quirky Question #257, Food for thought – whistleblowing claims against agricultural companies

You are right to be concerned. Under the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), employees who work for entities engaged in the manufacture, processing, packing, transporting, distribution, reception, holding, or...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

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