The California Supreme Court last week issued an opinion that federal law does not preempt complaints brought under state deceptive-marketing laws against grocery stores for allegedly selling artificially colored salmon.
The trial court found that claims were preempted by section 337(a) of title 21 of the U.S. Code, a provision of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (“FDCA”) (21 U.S.C.
§ 301, et seq.).The Court of Appeal affirmed the resulting judgment of dismissal. The California Supreme Court concluded “that section 337(a) does not preempt the action as plaintiffs do not seek to ‘enforce, or to restrain violations’ of, the FDCA. (§ 337(a).) Rather, plaintiffs’ claims for deceptive marketing of food products are predicated on state laws establishing independent state disclosure requirements ‘identical to’ the disclosure requirements imposed by the FDCA, something Congress explicitly approved in section 343-1. (§ 343-1(a)(3).)”