Tag: claims

FDA Issues Gluten Free Labeling Compliance Guide

Nearly a year ago on August 5, 2013, we reported on the blog that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had published a final rule establishing a regulatory definition of the term “gluten-free” for voluntary use in the labeling of foods. The final rule is intended to provide a uniform definition of the term “gluten-free” … Continue Reading

USDA Approves Non-GMO Label Claim for Meat and Egg Products

Coauthored by Andrea Canfield and Claire Mitchell: The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS),  the division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) charged with regulating the safety and proper labeling of meat, poultry, and egg products, recently approved the Non-GMO Project Verified label claim for meat and liquid egg products. The label, certified by the … Continue Reading

Upcoming Events

On December 8, 2011 I participated in a webinar organized by the Strafford Publication Group. In conjunction with Jonathan Cohen from the Gilbert firm and Joseph Bottiglieri with Bonner Kiernan Trebach & Crociata LLP, we presented Food Safety Claims: Products Liability Issues on the new requirements under the Food Safety Modernization Act. Nicole Hancock of … 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

Defeating a Consumer Fraud Putative Class Case Early

Last week at the DRI products liability conference in New Orleans, Lara White from Adams and Reese and I presented "Regulatory Compliance Alone Is Not Enough: Understanding and Mitigating Consumer Fraud Claims." Our presentation dealt with putative class claims aimed at the marketing and labeling of food products. A link to the slide-deck can be … Continue Reading

Strategies to Defeat Putative Class Claims Challenging Labeling and Marketing of Food Products

April 8, 2011 – Scott Rickman from Del Monte, Lara White from Adams and Reese, and I will be talking at the Defense Research Institute (DRI) food law break-out. This event is held in conjunction with the DRI annual product liability conference in New Orleans. Click here for the complete manuscript that we’ve prepared to … Continue Reading

Litigation Strategies for Responding to Significant Consumer Threats

I’ve been invited to speak this Friday at the University of Oregon School of Law‘s symposium entitled "Cultivating Our Future: New Landscapes in Food and Agricultural Law and Policy" as a part of the "Food for Thought – Strategies for Advocacy" panel. I’ll outline a series of tools food lawyers can and should use to … Continue Reading

Consumer Fraud Class Claims Presentation at GMA

In just a couple of weeks (Feb. 23-25), I’ll be in Austin for the GMA Food Claims & Litigation Conference. Let me know if you plan to attend. I’ll be presenting with Scott Rickman from Del Monte Foods on consumer fraud class claims arising from food product labeling and marketing. Anyone in the business of … Continue Reading

New York Times on the Rise in Unfair Competition Claims: Challenging Competitors’ Advertising Is Increasingly an Important Part of an Overall Marketing Strategy

Stephanie Clifford wrote over the weekend in the New York Times about what’s behind the increase in unfair competition claims. Ms. Clifford reports: The number of complaints over ads from competitors filed with the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, the industry’s main self-regulatory program for national ads, is on track … Continue Reading

Improved Surveillance Will Lead to More Food-Borne Illness Claims

We’ve explained previously in this blog why increased surveillance by state and federal agencies will lead to detection of more outbreaks (and, therefore, more legal exposure). Others seem to agree. Law360 published a nice interview with Jim Neale at McGuire Woods, another lawyer experienced in the food liability arena ( a Law360 subscription is needed … Continue Reading

More on Reducing the Risk of Failure – Focus on Shifting Liability For Consumer Claims

Food Safety Magazine ran an interesting piece by Aaron Krauss titled “Reducing the Risk of Failure.”  The article was part of the magazine’s focus on limiting liability for food companies.  Mr. Krauss includes a good discussion of the pros and cons of indemnities and disclaimers of warranty and liability as ways to shift or reduce … Continue Reading

Tips For Successful Multiparty Food Liability Mediation

Mediation has become a critical process for resolving large, multi-party consumer claims. Settlement of these claims is often complicated by insurance and third-party recovery. Often a brokered process is the only practical way to get to a meeting of the minds. Yet, in my experience mediations that can succeed fail because of the lawyers and mediators. Having been … Continue Reading

Defending Liability in Foodborne Illness Outbreaks

I’m asked frequently about the “anatomy of litigation.” I plan to write more in this space on the topic. For now, some may find useful the slides from a presentation I gave recently on “Defending Liability in Foodborne Illness Outbreaks.” I discussed what I see as three prototypes of consumer claims and possible strategies to respond … Continue Reading

FDA Warning to General Mills: Cheerios is a Drug

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is taking issue with claims that Cheerios cereal can lower cholesterol. In a letter to General Mills, the FDA says that statements made on Cheerios packaging like the claim that the cereal is “clinically proven to help lower cholesterol” make the product a drug under federal law. The agency suggests … Continue Reading

More on Melamine . . .

I was interviewed recently by Food Innovation Weekly on “Melamine, Recalls and Crisis Management.” This question-and-answer article discusses how the waves of melamine issues circling the globe affect the way a company should think about crisis management. I suspect that we’re not done hearing about melamine contamination and that the scope of fraud has yet … Continue Reading

Good Time To Review Crisis Management Plans

Incredibly, the Salmonella Saintpaul outbreak remains unsolved. First reported onset of illness date was April 10, yet the traceback is still not complete. Personal injury and economic damage claims await for the FDA and CDC to determine causation. Produce industry, particularly in Mexico, stands to suffer long lasting injury.  Whether or not your business stands … Continue Reading
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