News & Analysis as of

Ninth Circuit Revives “All Natural” Label Class Action, but Affirms Decertification of Damages Class

In an unpublished decision that is significant for both shoppers and consumer food companies, the Ninth Circuit recently reversed a district court’s ruling that the label “All Natural Fruit” is not likely to deceive...more

What the FDA has in store for the food industry in 2017

As Life Sciences Decoded looks forward in 2017, it is clear that FDA-regulated industries have a great deal of change confronting them. Last year, 2016, was a landmark year for the FDA and food regulations, as the agency...more

California Court Denies Stay of Consumer Class Action Challenging “Natural Cheese”

On December 6, 2016, United States District Judge John A. Kronstadt for the Central District of California denied a motion to stay a class action alleging violations of the UCL, FAL, and CLRA against Kraft Foods Group, Inc....more

Is the FSMA a plaintiff’s lawyer’s dream and the food industry’s nightmare?

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) became law in 2011, signaling a sea change in U.S. food safety regulation and making prevention the cornerstone of safety measures. To achieve its lofty goals, while providing time for...more

Waiting for the FDA is the Hardest Part, California Federal Judge Rules

What it means for food to be “natural” has become a topic of contentious debate, and the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) entered the fray earlier this year, requesting comments on use of the term on food labeling. Some...more

Dole’s “All Natural” Description On Certain Fruit Products Could Mislead Reasonable Consumers

A recent decision from the Ninth Circuit has highlighted the uncertainty that exists in the food product market about the use and definition of “All Natural” in labeling and advertising. In Brazil v. Dole Packaged Foods,...more

Food and Beverage Law Update: December 2016

Overtime Rules Enjoined Nationwide - In State of Nev. v. U.S. Dep't of Labor Case No. 4:16-cv-00731-ALM, 2016 WL 6879615 (E.D. Tex. Nov. 22, 2016), a Texas district court enjoined nationwide the Department of Labor's...more

New actions based on ‘nothing artificial’ labels may be halted as FDA redefines ‘natural’

I previously wrote about Thornton v. Pinnacle Foods Group LLC, No. 4:16-CV-00158-JAR, in which the Eastern District of Missouri refused to dismiss a consumer fraud claim based on “nothing artificial” labels on boxes of Duncan...more

Product Contamination: Strong Underwriting is Key

In 2011, the Food Safety Modernization Act, regarded by many as a major reform of the food safety provisions of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, significantly expanded the powers of the U.S. Food and Drug...more

The new look of FDA food facility registration: Human and animal food companies beware

The food industry has long been familiar with the requirement that facilities involved in the handling, packing, holding, storing, manufacturing or other processing of food must register with the Food and Drug Administration....more

What’s in a Name? Looming Food Identity Issues…

Chase Purdy at Quartz recently published an article with the following headline: “To lure people put off by the freakiness of lab-made meat, this is what the industry wants to call it.” It got me thinking about the importance...more

FDA Releases Draft Guidance on Customer Disclosure Statements for Uncontrolled Hazards in Human and Animal Foods

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released draft guidance on October 28, 2016, offering insight into customer disclosure statements required for certain food and feed products that have not, under the Food Safety...more

Pondering Public Disclosure & FSMA Records

Remember last month when we said to DOCUMENT EVERYTHING under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)? Well, here’s some more context for that recommendation. For one, FSMA adds a substantial amount of documentation and...more

Food and Beverage News and Trends - October 2016 #2

This regular publication by DLA Piper lawyers focuses on helping clients navigate the ever-changing business, legal and regulatory landscape. WHO announces support for taxes on sugary drinks. The World Health...more

Check the Box to Avoid Food & Beverage Packaging Litigation

Shagha Tousi, a partner in Nutter’s Litigation Department and a member of the firm’s Business Litigation and Product Liability and Toxic Tort Litigation practice groups, addressed product packaging litigation in the food and...more

FDA Announces Initiative to Redefine “Healthy” Claim for Food Labeling

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) announced in September that it is considering how to redefine the term “healthy” as a nutrient content claim for the labeling of human food products. The FDA issued a guidance...more

De-certifiably Natural – Ninth Circuit Finds “All Natural” Label May be Misleading While Upholding Class Decertification

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently reversed in part and affirmed in part a Northern District of California ruling concerning the “All Natural Fruit” labeling on Dole’s packaged fruit products. Brazil v. Dole Packaged...more

To Your Health: FDA Redefining the Term “Healthy” on Food Labels

On September 27, 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it has begun a public process to redefine the term “healthy” on food labels. As part of the public process, the FDA is soliciting input...more

Moving on From “Natural,” FDA Seeks Comments on What It Means to Be a “Healthy” Food

As it signaled it would be doing earlier this year, FDA has initiated a public process to redefine the implied nutrient content claim “healthy” when it is used on food labels and labeling. In addition, while the process is...more

A Step in the Right Direction: FDA Says It Will Refine Regulations on 'Healthy' Claims for Food

FDA recently announced that it will take a second look at its “healthy” regulations, and it is soliciting public comments on a dozen or so topics. Walk down any aisle at the grocery store and you will find foods...more

Ninth Circuit holds juries can decide the definition of ‘natural’

On September 30, 2016, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a key decision in the food labeling war over what constitutes a false or misleading “all natural” label. At issue was a label on Dole’s food products stating that...more

Ninth Circuit: Food Manufacturers May be Liable for Misleading Consumers if They Label Foods Containing Synthetic Citric and...

On September 30, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed in part a district court decision granting summary judgment to Dole Packaged Foods, LLC (“Dole”), finding that a reasonable fact finder could conclude that Dole’s...more

FDA to Redefine “Healthy” Claim for Food Labeling

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently took two actions involving the use of the claim “healthy” on food labels. First, FDA opened a docket to solicit comments on whether, and if so how, to revise the criteria that...more

Product Liability Update: October 2016

Massachusetts Federal Court Dismisses Putative Class Action Because Defendant’s Unconditional Checks for Named Plaintiff’s Maximum Damages, Even Though Uncashed, Mooted Suit - In Demmler v. ACH Food Companies, Civil No....more

Food and Beverage News and Trends - October 2016

FDA seeks public comment on possible revision of its definition of "healthy" on food labels. The FDA has begun an initiative to revisit its legal definition of "healthy" as used by manufacturers on food labels. In a September...more

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