Tag: health

Locavore To the Max

Health economist Jane Sarasohn-Kahn has an interesting take in a new article on her Health Populi blog about "km zero", a food movement she describes as "the future of food."  Basically, it takes locavore standards to the max, seeking to source food as close to you as possible, for the freshest and the best ingredients, including … Continue Reading

Health Claims Class Actions Set to Explode

Stoel Rives food liability attorney Ken Odza discussed with NutraIngredients-USA.com the significance of a rise in activism from consumer lobby groups combined with food manufacturers pushing the envelope with more aggressive health claims. General Mills recently lost its bid to invalidate class action certification at the Eleventh Circuit of Appeals in a Florida lawsuit involving … Continue Reading

The Japanese Nuclear Incident and Food Safety

We’ve been somewhat reluctant to post anything about this, mainly because the facts seem to change daily.  But today I found a very good website from WHO, the World Health Organization, Western Pacific Region, that is updated frequently and has a lot of good information that appears to be presented reasonably.  I was particularly impressed … Continue Reading

FDA Seeks Public Comment Regarding FOP Labeling

This post also appears on the Essential Nutrition Law Blog. In an April 28 release, the Food and Drug Administration (the “FDA”) asked for comments and information from the public and other interested parties about front-of-pack (“FOP”) nutrition labeling and shelf tags in retail stores. The FOP is the part of the package label that … Continue Reading

Tool For Food Companies and Litigators – New Guidelines for Foodborne Disease Outbreak Response

Council to Improve Foodborne Outbreak Response (“CIFOR”) has published new guidelines designed to help local, state and federal agencies to improve their response to outbreaks. I became aware of this (again) through Ricardo Carvajal, who was a reviewer for the guidelines, and his firm’s FDA Law Blog. I agree with Ricardo that while the guidelines … Continue Reading

Energy Drink Maker Sued Over Alleged Health Risks

The maker of Redline energy drinks has been sued in federal court in California.  The plaintiff, Zack Aaronson, is seeking class action status for his lawsuit against Vital Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (operating under the trademark VPX). The plaintiff claims that VPX failed to adequately warn consumers of potential side effects and health risks associated with consuming … Continue Reading

Sustainability and Consumer Confidence in Food Safety

For food sellers interested in promoting a “sustainable” brand and inspiring food safety confidence in their consumers, meet Food Alliance. Food Alliance “is a nonprofit organization that certifies farms, ranches and food handlers for sustainable agricultural and facility management practices.” It bills itself as “the most comprehensive certification program for sustainably produced food in North … Continue Reading

Next Generation Sequencing for the Food Industry

More and more, it is becoming true that nothing drives detection and prevention of food-borne illness than technology (and, of course, with advancements in detection come potential increases in exposure to legal liability). No technological advancement may be more significant than Next Generation Sequencing ("Next Gen Sequencing").   I’ve recently had the opportunity to spend time learning about Next Gen Sequencing with Dr. Andrew Benson, a genetic microbiologist at the … Continue Reading

FDA Commissioner Nominee Faces Confirmation Hearing

Dr. Margaret Hamburg, President Barack Obama’s nominee to oversee the Food and Drug Administration, is appearing before a U.S. Senate committee this afternoon regarding her nomination. The confirmation hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee began at 2:00 p.m. ET. Streaming video is available here. The Associated Press is reporting that, if confirmed, one … Continue Reading

Secretary of Agriculture Emphasizes Safety of U.S. Pork

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack issued a statement today emphasizing that U.S. pork products are safe and that there is no evidence that U.S. swine have been infected with the swine flu virus. Calling trade restrictions on pork or pork products unnecessary, Vilsack said any such restrictions would be inconsistent with World Organization for Animal … Continue Reading

The High Cost of Loving Rojak

Eating rojak, a local delicacy, in ordinarily squeaky-clean Singapore has resulted in two deaths, a miscarriage and over 100 visits to the emergency room. Singapore efficiently dealt with the outbreak, identifying and closing the offending stall and inspecting and approving the remaining stalls in the market by the next morning.… Continue Reading

Senator Durbin Likely to Introduce New Food Safety Legislation

The National Grain and Feed Association has reported to its members that Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL), is likely to reintroduce food safety legislation next week.  Senator Durbin has introduced similar bills in prior Congresses.  Likely, co-sponsors include Senator Edward M. Kennedy, chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) committee, and Republican Sens. Richard Burr … Continue Reading

Lessons from Toxic Rice and Chinese Dairies – Threats From Bioterrorism and Supplier Fraud

Manufacturer fraud and bioterrorism should be on the radar screen for any food producer. Apart from the meltdown in the U.S. financial markets and presidential politics, the big news this week is toxic rice from Southeast Asia and melamine-tainted dairy products from China. Both crises were caused by intentional contamination of food products by raw-materials … Continue Reading

Anatomy of a Food-Borne Illness Claim – Part I

Recently, I’ve received several requests for resources explaining the anatomy of a food-borne illness claim. In other words, what events can be expected, and when? What can or should a company (in particular the legal department) do in response to a claim? Part I – Notice of an Outbreak (and Possible Claims)   First off, don’t … Continue Reading
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