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

GMO FoodsWe 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 Council for Biotechnology Information, which includes several major consumer products companies.

A global market research company conducted a random, national telephone survey of over 1,000 Americans, in which those surveyed were given a list of 23 questions, then asked:  “The following are questions some people have asked about GMOs.  Which of the following questions around the use of GMOs would you be most interested in having answered?
Continue Reading National Survey Identifies Top Consumer Questions on GMOs

On March 7, 2014, my colleague Justin Prochnow posted The Name Game:  FDA Revisits its 2009 Draft Guidance on ‘Evaporated Cane Juice,’ which addressed the FDA’s recent announcement that it is revisiting a 2009 draft guidance stating its position on the description “evaporated cane juice.”  The 2009 draft guidance took the position that describing the ingredient as “juice” was misleading under the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.  The FDA is now soliciting comments on the issue, which could affect how the Administration treats the description, which in turn could affect litigation against companies whose products contain the ingredient.  As described more in Mr. Prochnow’s March 7 post, the 2009 draft guidance spawned numerous class actions against such companies.  That litigation continues, including a putative class action against Wallaby Yogurt Co. that a federal judge on Thursday, March 13, 2014 allowed to proceed.  The case is Morgan v. Wallaby Yogurt Co., Inc., 3:13-cv-00296 (N.D. Cal. 2013).
Continue Reading Another ‘Evaporated Cane Juice’ Class Action Proceeds as the FDA Solicits Comments on the Description

Sugar CaneThe FDA announced yesterday that it is revisiting a draft guidance issued in 2009 that generated a significant amount of class action litigation over the last year.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 draft guidance, the FDA indicates that describing the sweeteners as juice “fail[s] to reveal the basic nature of the food and its characterizing properties” and therefore considers the use of “evaporated cane juice” to be misleading under the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (the FDCA).

On Wednesday, the FDA indicated that it is reopening the comment period on its 2009 draft guidance to obtain additional data and information to better understand the basic nature and characterizing properties of the ingredient, the methods of producing it, and the differences between the ingredient and other sweeteners. The FDA is seeking comments regarding whether others agree with its determination that the term “evaporated cane juice” does not convey the basic nature of the ingredient. It is also interested in how “evaporated cane juice” compares to other sweeteners derived from sugar cane, such as raw sugar and cane sugar, that use “sugar” or “syrup” in their name.
Continue Reading The Name Game: FDA Revisits its 2009 Draft Guidance on ‘Evaporated Cane Juice’