Last week, the California Court of Appeal held that a plaintiff’s suit seeking to require Proposition 65 acrylamide based cancer warnings on 59 popular breakfast cereals was pre-empted by federal nutrition policies aimed at encouraging Americans to consume more whole grains and by FDA letters stating that any warnings should be deferred given the uncertain science on the risks to humans of acrylamide in food. This conflict pre-emption ruling should help convince courts in other contexts that state warning requirements should defer to more carefully articulated federal policies.

Acrylamide, which forms in many foods during high-temperature cooking (e.g., frying, roasting, baking), has been a Proposition 65 listed substance since 1990, though its presence in food was not discovered until 2002. As the FDA has stated, there is much uncertainty if the levels of acrylamide in food pose any risk to humans.
Continue Reading Notable Ruling: Precedent-Setting Proposition 65 Pre-emption Decision Involving Breakfast Cereal

Earlier this week, attorneys in the Perkins Coie Food Litigation team joined top in-house counsel, defense attorneys and regulatory experts at the GMA Legal Conference which took place in New Orleans, LA.  The conference covered a wide array of important and timely legal issues, with an emphasis on protecting your brands from litigation risks and

Organic Consumers Association v. R.C. Bigelow, Inc., No. 17CA8375 (D.C. Super. Ct.): Plaintiff asserts a cause of action for violation of the District of Columbia Consumer Protection Procedures Act alleging that defendant deceptively labeled, marketed and sold its Bigelow’s Green Tea as “All Natural” and “Natural,” when in fact the product contains the synthetic

Miao v. Iovate Health Sciences U.S.A. Inc., No. 1:17-cv-09427 (S.D.N.Y.): Putative slack-fill class action asserting violations of New York’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act and False Advertising provisions of the GBL, and raising a claim for common law fraud. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant’s containers of Herbal Zen Nutrition plant-based protein powder are 40% slack-filled.
Continue Reading New Filings – December 15, 2017

Alonso v. Bauducco Foods Inc., No. 502017ca012068 (Fl. Circuit Ct. – Palm Beach Cnty.): Putative class action for violation of Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, negligent misrepresentation, breach of express warranty and unjust enrichment. Plaintiff alleges Defendant advertised its cracker products as being “all natural” despite the fact that the products contain “artificial, synthetic and/or genetically modified ingredients.”
Continue Reading New Filings – November 15, 2017

food-lit-imagePerkins Coie has published its first Food Litigation Year in Review, covering key developments and trends in food litigation for calendar year 2016.  The Year in Review’s key insights include data-driven assessments of how (and where) the plaintiffs’ bar has continued its assault on the food industry in 2016. That data reflect the filing

Consumer Advocacy Grp., Inc. v. Chulada, Inc., et al., No. BC651577: (Cal. Super. Ct. – Los Angeles Cnty.): Proposition 65 action alleging defendants fail to warn consumers that their ground shrimp contains cadmium and cadmium compounds, and lead and lead compounds.

Envtl. Research Ctr., Inc. v. Blackstone Labs, LLC, No. RG17-850885: (Cal. Super. Ct. – Alameda Cnty.): Proposition 65 action alleging Defendant fails to warn consumers that its dietary supplements contain lead and cadmium.

Consumer Advocacy Grp., Inc. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., et al., No. BC651902: (Cal. Super. Ct. – Los Angeles Cnty.): Proposition 65 action alleging Defendants fail to warn consumers that their jarred anchovies contain lead.
Continue Reading New Filings – April 3, 2017