Category Archives: Food & Beverage Industry

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Greenberg Traurig’s Food & Beverage Group Presents at Natural Products ExpoWest

Greenberg Traurig’s Food & Beverage practice group recently gave a very well-attended presentation at the world’s largest natural, organic, and healthy products show of the year in Anaheim, California, Natural Products ExpoWest. The presentation, entitled “All Natural to Zero Calories: The A to Z of Claims,” addressed claims made for products in the food and … Continue Reading

FDA Announces Changes to the Nutrition Information on the Labels of Food, Beverages, and Dietary Supplements

On May 20, 2016, the FDA announced that it finalized changes to the Nutrition Facts panel on the labels of packaged foods and beverages, as well as changes to the Supplement Facts panel on the labels of dietary supplements.  The final regulations were published in the Federal Register on May 27, 2016.  The final  version  … Continue Reading

FDA Issues Rules to Help Consumers Monitor Caloric Intake

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently finalized two rules requiring that calorie information be listed on menus and menu boards in chain restaurants and similar retail food establishments, as well as on certain vending machines. In announcing the finalization of the two rules, FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D. stated that “Americans eat … Continue Reading

Court Rejects Preemption and Primary Jurisdiction Arguments in “All Natural” Case

In our February 12, 2014 post, entitled “Consumer Class Actions Trending From Attacking ‘All Natural’ to ‘Raw,’” we addressed whether claims challenging consumer product advertising as “all natural” were preempted in the absence of specific guidance from the FDA and the mixed results the argument has produced.  In Ault v. J.M. Smucker Co. et al., 2014 … Continue Reading

Are Sugary Drink Warnings Coming to California?

California isn’t exactly known as a business-friendly state.  In some ways, the governor has tried to change that.  He’ll have an interesting choice to make if a recently-passed senate bill reaches his desk. Last week, the State Senate Committee on Health passed a measure that would require health warning labels on beverages with added sugar, … Continue Reading

California Proposes Enhanced Prop. 65 Warnings and Possible Online Disclosures – Dietary Supplements and Foods Specially Targeted

Prepared by James Mattesich, Justin Prochnow, Anthony Cortez and Greg Sperla. The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) announced on March 7, 2014 that it is considering implementation of the most significant changes to Proposition 65 regulations in more than two decades. Because OEHHA’s proposals are currently in the preliminary stages, businesses that … Continue Reading

National Survey Identifies Top Consumer Questions on GMOs

We frequently address issues relating to litigation over products advertised as “all natural” or containing genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. As interest in GMOs has grown (along with related litigation), an initiative known as GMO Answers has published new survey results identifying consumers’ top 10 questions about GMOs. GMO Answers is funded by the members of The … Continue Reading

Another ‘Evaporated Cane Juice’ Class Action Proceeds as the FDA Solicits Comments on the Description

On March 7, 2014, my colleague Justin Prochnow posted The Name Game:  FDA Revisits its 2009 Draft Guidance on ‘Evaporated Cane Juice,’ which addressed the FDA’s recent announcement that it is revisiting a 2009 draft guidance stating its position on the description “evaporated cane juice.”  The 2009 draft guidance took the position that describing the ingredient as … Continue Reading

The Name Game: FDA Revisits its 2009 Draft Guidance on ‘Evaporated Cane Juice’

The FDA announced yesterday that it is revisiting a draft guidance issued in 2009 that generated a significant amount of class action litigation over the last year. In 2009, the FDA issued a draft guidance outlining its position regarding the use of “evaporated cane juice” to describe sweeteners derived from sugar cane syrup. In the … Continue Reading

Don’t Go Changing to Try and Please Me…

The FDA caused quite a stir this morning by announcing proposed updates to the Nutrition Facts and Supplement Facts information required for packaged foods and dietary supplements. These changes reflect the first significant changes in the 20 years since nutrition information was first required to be placed on labels in the form of a Nutrition … Continue Reading

Former Lance Armstrong Endorsement of Supplement Company FRS Doesn’t Support False Advertising Class Action, Court Rules

On February 25, 2014, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California dismissed a putative class action against supplement maker The FRS Company and its former endorser, cyclist Lance Armstrong, in the case of Martin v. FRS Company, et al., Case No. CV-13-01456-BRO (MANx).  The Plaintiffs, alleged purchasers of FRS products, claimed that … Continue Reading

Hope for Consumer Products Companies Facing ‘Natural’ Class Actions

Greenberg Traurig Shareholder Ed Chansky highlights a recent decision dismissing consumer fraud claims alleging a personal care product was mislabeled as “all natural.”  The key aspects of the decision were: “Natural” is a vague and ambiguous term without a single or universal definition. The plaintiffs’ proposed definition of “natural” as “existing in or produced by … Continue Reading

Cautionary Tale – Modify Business Practices and on the Hook for Catalyst Fees

After being hit with a class action, one question consumer products companies often face is:  should we modify our business practices in response to the suit?  Sometimes it makes sense.  Changing the challenged practice can, in some cases, help defeat class certification and may help limit liability.  Others would argue that changing business practices in … Continue Reading

Consumer Class Actions Trending From Attacking ‘All Natural’ to ‘Raw’

Last year saw a trend in consumer class actions attacking advertising for products labeled as “all natural.”  The cases produced mixed results, and the extent to which this theory will succeed remains unclear.  Some cases settled.  See, e.g., Trammell v. Barbara’s Bakery, 12-cv-02664 (N.D. Cal. June 21, 2013).  Others were dismissed.  See, e.g., Rapcinsky v. … Continue Reading
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