In the last few years, food and beverage companies have been defending against a new trend of claims related not to the products they manufacture, but the packages in which the products are sold.
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In a decision that will impact numerous lawsuits in the lower courts, in Kane v. Chobani (No. 14-15670 (9th Cir. Mar. 24, 2016)) the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit stayed proceedings in a class action regarding the alleged misuse of the term “natural” on food labels until the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has completed its review of the term.
On February 26, two cheese companies and one of their corporate officers, Michelle Myrter, pleaded guilty in federal court for selling “real parmesan and romano cheese” that contained high amounts of cellulose and other improper fillers.
On February 23, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a guidance document titled Guidance for Industry: Nutrient Content Claims; Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA), Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA), and Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) Omega-3 Fatty Acids; Small Entity Compliance Guide 1 (Guidance).
On November 17, the Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a press release announcing that it and other federal agencies have slapped more than 100 makers and marketers of dietary supplements with civil and criminal cases over the last year.
On November 6, 2015, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued long-awaited guidance on its fortification policy for adding nutrients to foods in the form of a Questions and Answers Guidance for Industry.
On New Year’s Eve, the USDA’s (Department’s) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) released its final rule requiring meat and poultry processors to include added solutions in their product labeling.
Like the broader federal inspection program in which it is housed, the Food Safety and Inspection Service’s (FSIS’s) prior labeling approval system continues to evolve away from its history of extensive command and control.
Vermont’s Office of Attorney General recently released its draft rule detailing how manufacturers and retailers could be required to label genetically modified organism–processed (GMO-processed) food sold in the state.
POM Wonderful is no longer just spilling over into new product areas; it is now also spilling over into other legal claims.