On April 15, 2014, in the case Caldera v. The J.M. Smucker Co., CV 12-4936-GHK, J.M. (C.D. Cal.), Smucker Company (“Defendant”) defeated the plaintiff’s motion for class certification in a case challenging the labels on Defendant’s Crisco shortening and Uncrustables food products. The lawsuit claimed that Defendant had mislabeled its Crisco shortening with false claims about its healthfulness (such as “50% Less Saturated Fat than Butter”), and that it misleadingly labeled its Uncrustables products as “wholesome” when they contain transfat and high-fructose corn syrup. As with many California food label class actions, the plaintiff brought suit under California’s Unfair Competition Law (“UCL”), False Advertising Law (“FAL”), the Consumer Legal Remedies Act (“CLRA”), and breach of express and implied warranties. The plaintiff sought restitution on behalf of the purchasers of … [Read more...] about J.M. Smucker Company Gets Out of a Jam in Food Labelling Case – Caldera v. The J.M. Smucker Co.
Misleading health claims on food labels
A bluntly labeled section of the Code of Federal Regulations – “Mayonnaise” – provides a description of this particular food dressing, the food’s required ingredients, optional ingredients, and how to declare those ingredients. The goals of this and other standardized food definitions are to prevent economic fraud on consumers (and between supply chain partners), avoid unfair competition through false or misleading statements, and maintain the general quality of the country’s food supply. In August, FDA reinforced to members of the food industry that long-standing regulations governing standardized foods exist for a reason and should be taken into account even when developing new and innovative products. … [Read more...] about What’s in a Name? When You’re Selling a Food with an Established Federal Standard of Identity, a Whole Lot!
First, it is now clear that food and beverage companies are not insulated from false advertising claims by competitors. A result of the POM Wonderful decision and the Supreme Court’s decision in Lexmark International, Inc. v. Static Control Components, Inc., broadening the scope of plaintiffs who have standing to bring false advertising claims under the Lanham Act, food and beverage companies are likely to face increased litigation in this area in the future. Therefore, food and beverage companies should take appropriate steps to confirm not only that their labels comply with the relevant FDA regulations and the FDCA’s statutory prohibition against false or misleading labeling, but also that the labels are not susceptible to claims of false or misleading labeling or advertising in violation of the Lanham Act. For example, these companies should carefully analyze their labels to determine whether a competitor could argue that they make false or misleading … [Read more...] about Food Companies Should Expect More False Advertising Claims
POM sued Coca-Cola, claiming the Coca-Cola (under the Minute Maid brand) juice labeled “Pomegranate Blueberry Flavored Blend of 5 Juices” was false and misleading, as the juice contains 99.4% apple and grape juices, with only miniscule amounts of pomegranate juice and features on its product’s label a picture of all five fruits and the words “Pomegranate Blueberry” in a larger font than the words “Flavored Blend of 5 Juices.” POM Wonderful markets a juice labeled “Pomegranate Blueberry 100% Juice,” which consists entirely of pomegranate and blueberry juices. … [Read more...] about Supreme Court Holds Competitors May Bring False, Misleading Product Descriptions Claims on Food, Beverage Labels
With regard to imported products, "health food imported for the first time" suggests no health food made per the same formula has been imported from the same country and the same producing company in the past.9 When the health food is imported for the first time, it must be registered with CFDA in advance, unless it falls under the scope of vitamins and minerals, which are only subject to notification procedures. Once the notification number is issued to a health food to be imported, the actual import must be carried out within three months and the proof of customs clearance as well as the testing report must be filed with the food and drug administration at the provincial level.10 … [Read more...] about CFDA Announces Draft Regulation to Implement China’s New Food Safety Law