Tag Archives: LAWSUIT

Seafood Traceability Rule to Remain in Place, Says Court

As reported previously on this blog, concerns about illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) seafood fraud, led to a proposed rule to establish a traceability program for certain seafood species. The final rule establishing the Seafood Import Monitoring Program was published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), Department of … Continue Reading

New “Natural” Lawsuit Targets Sanderson Farms’ “100 Percent Natural” Chicken

A leading poultry producer has been sued over “natural” claims on its chicken products.  (subscription to Law360 required) Americans’ increasing appetite for clean label, ethically-raised foods has resulted in the continued proliferation of consumer advocacy litigation targeting “natural” claims for products containing synthetic ingredients or preservatives.  Adding fuel to the continued uptick in “natural” litigation … Continue Reading

Court Upholds Philly Soda Tax

As previously covered on this blog, on June 16, 2016, the Philadelphia city council voted 13-4 to approve a 1.5 cent per ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages.  The tax – which took effect on January 1, 2017 – is levied on distributors and covers a variety of beverages, including soda and diet soda, non-100% fruit drinks; sports drinks; flavored … Continue Reading

Consumer Groups Sue FDA for Delaying Menu Labeling Rule

As previously covered on this blog, on May 4, 2017, FDA published an interim final rule that delays the compliance date for menu labeling requirements from May 5, 2017, until May 8, 2018 and invites comments for 60 days on the implementation of the menu labeling requirements. Yesterday, the Center for Science in the Public … Continue Reading

Kraft Motion to Dismiss ‘All Natural’ Lawsuit

Kraft seeks to end ‘all-natural’ sour cream labeling suit (subscription to Law360 required) Kraft Heinz Foods Co. (Kraft) asked the court (the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York) to dismiss a putative class action over claims the “All Natural” label on its Breakstone’s sour cream is misleading because the sour cream … Continue Reading

CFS and Others Sue FDA Over GRAS Rule

FDA has premarket review authority over food additives; however, substances that are generally recognized as safe (GRAS) are not legally considered “food additives” as that term is defined under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, and therefore are not subject to the premarket clearance requirements that apply to other substances used in or in … Continue Reading

Natural Challenge Stayed

Court places “natural” challenge on hold pending FDA action (subscription to Law 360 required) As the food industry is well aware, lawsuits challenging “natural” claims continue to proliferate nationwide. Many challenges have focused on the presence or use of synthetic ingredients or processing aids in products positioned as “all-natural” or “100% natural.” For example, Kraft Foods … Continue Reading

Another “Natural” Lawsuit

A leading meat producer has been sued over “natural” claims on deli meats. (subscription to Law360 required) Challenges to “natural” claims continue, with many cases targeting “natural” claims for products containing synthetic ingredients or preservatives.  As previously covered on this blog, FDA is considering whether to regulate the term “natural”.  USDA, which regulates meat and … Continue Reading

Organic Melee: USDA Loses Latest Round in Legal Challenge Over Synthetics in Organic Production

A district court judge has denied USDA’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit alleging that the Agency illegally changed its process for reviewing synthetic substances used in organic production. By way of background, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) administers the National Organic Program (NOP), which includes standards for “organic” food in the United States.  The … Continue Reading

Bucolic Brouhaha: Lawsuit Challenges “Pasture Raised” Claims

Lawsuit alleges that an egg retailer falsely labeled eggs as “pasture raised”. The term “pasture raised” is the latest labeling claim to become embroiled in controversy.  Like the term “natural” (which has been the subject of extensive consumer litigation), the term “pasture raised” is also not currently regulated at the federal level. The Animal Legal … Continue Reading

GMA and Vermont Agree to Drop GMO Lawsuit

The food industry, led by the Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA), and Vermont have agreed to dismiss a federal lawsuit that challenged a state law requiring the labeling of certain foods made with genetically modified organisms. (Subscription to The New York Times required) As previously covered on this blog, Vermont’s labeling requirements for genetically modified … Continue Reading

Ractopamine Rancor

An upcoming Appeals Court decision may embolden consumer advocacy groups to bypass administrative remedies in favor of the courts. (subscription to Food Chemical News required) Consumer groups sued FDA in November 2014 for approving ractopamine-based feed additives used to promote faster growth and leaner meat in food producing animals such as cattle, pigs, and turkeys, … Continue Reading

Soda Speech Suit

Washington Legal Foundation files brief in support of First Amendment challenge to San Francisco soda warning. As previously covered on this blog, the City of San Francisco passed legislation that requires health warnings to be placed on advertising for sugar-sweetened beverages.  Industry and advertising trade associations filed a lawsuit challenging the legislation on First Amendment grounds.  … Continue Reading

San Francisco Sugar Suit Shutdown

San Francisco sugar-sweetened beverage warning set to take effect in July. As previously covered on this blog, the City of San Francisco passed legislation in June 2015 that requires health warnings to be placed on advertising for sugar-sweetened beverages (i.e., nonalcoholic beverages with caloric sweeteners that contain more than 25 calories per 12 oz.).  Specifically, … Continue Reading

Sued Over Salmon

FDA sued over approval of genetically engineered salmon. In November 2015, FDA issued its first approval for a genetically engineered (GE) animal intended for direct human consumption.  The AquAdvantage Salmon is an Atlantic salmon engineered to grow twice as fast as its natural counterpart.  Since the approval, the GE salmon has been mired in controversy.  A provision in the … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Neutralizers

Ninth Circuit puts food labeling challenge on hold pending FDA action. As food industry stakeholders are well aware, “natural” claims invite the risk of consumer class action challenges in the absence of any formal regulatory definition or regime to govern the use of the term.  Similarly, food companies also have faced challenges related to the use of … Continue Reading

GM Updates: Chipotle & Congress

Chipotle non-GM claims challenged again in court. As previously covered on this blog, a plaintiffs’ class action lawsuit was filed against Chipotle in connection with its nationwide advertising campaign premised on a pledge to serve only “non-GMO” foods.  In February, the lawsuit was dismissed based on the lead plaintiff’s failure to specify that she had … Continue Reading

POM & Coke: Trial by Jury

POM Wonderful pursues false advertising claim against Coca-Cola. (subscription to Law360 required) As previously covered on this blog, POM Wonderful sued Coca-Cola in 2008 under the Lanham Act for allegedly misleading consumers with its labels for Minute Maid pomegranate blueberry juice.  According to POM, Coke’s labels misrepresented the amount of actual pomegranate juice present in … Continue Reading

Court Curbs Chipotle Case

Chipotle dodges non-GM class action lawsuit…for now.  (subscription to Law360 required) In 2015, Chipotle Mexican Grill launched a nationwide advertising campaign premised on the chain’s pledge to serve food made only with non-genetically modified (GM) ingredients.  However, the company continued to serve meat and dairy products from animals that consume GM crops, as well as beverages with … Continue Reading

Yogurt Fight Gets Messy

Chobani’s latest ad campaign targets ingredients in Dannon and Yoplait products Yoplait and Dannon have accused competitor Chobani of using false and misleading statements about their products in Chobani’s latest ad campaign.  In newspaper, television, and social media advertisements that began airing January 6, 2016, Chobani states that unlike its Simply 100 yogurt, Yoplait Greek … Continue Reading

Tomato Toss

Federal judge tosses final claim in tomato farm’s lawsuit against FDA. (subscription to Law360 required) In June 2008, FDA mistakenly linked a multistate Salmonella outbreak to tomatoes and warned consumers about the potential dangers associated with the consumption of raw red tomatoes in New Mexico and Texas.  Federal and state officials struggled to track the actual … Continue Reading

Organic Challenges OK

California Supreme Court ruling opens door to “organic” labeling challenges.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulates organic production in the United States under the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (OFPA).  USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP) has promulgated a series of regulations that define the criteria for organic production, labeling, and certification.  Thus — unlike … Continue Reading


Parties settle “Made in USA” lawsuit in California. (subscription to Law360 required) As previously covered on this blog, a product may bear a “Made in USA”-type (MIU) claim in accordance with federal guidelines where “all or virtually all” of the product is made in the U.S.  Until a recent statutory change, California’s MIU claim standard had been … Continue Reading

Sweet Deal

Sugar and corn syrup producers settle their $1.1 billion false advertising lawsuit. As recently covered on this blog, sugar and corn syrup producers have been waging a high-stakes courtroom battle centering around an allegedly false advertising campaign run by the Corn Refiners Association (CRA) that promoted high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) as nutritionally identical to … Continue Reading