LabelThe saying goes, knowledge equals power. For plaintiffs asserting claims for injunctive relief on behalf of putative classes, however, the Mott’s Apple Juice case demonstrates just the opposite.

The Northern District of California’s recent order denying reconsideration of its summary judgment ruling in Rahman v. Mott’s LLP, 2018 WL 4585024 (N.D. Cal. Sept. 25, 2018) holds that a plaintiff cannot “plausibly claim” that he will suffer future harm if he is now “fully aware” of what the allegedly deceptive statement means. Continue Reading Knowledge Is Not Power for Class Action Plaintiffs

Vita Coco

On September 26, 2018, the Honorable Judge Robert N. Scola entered an Order denying class certification in a consumer deceptive advertising case. Plaintiffs claimed that the use of the phrase “born in brazil” on containers of Vita Coco, the leading brand of coconut water, caused them to believe that Vita Coco was manufactured in or sourced exclusively from Brazil, when it was not. Plaintiffs sought to certify injunctive classes under FRCP Rule 23(b)(2) and damages classes under Rule 23(b)(3).

The Court denied class certification for two primary reasons. First, the Court found that the named plaintiffs lacked standing to represent the injunctive classes where there was no real and immediate threat of future injury. The Court observed that any alleged future harm suffered by the plaintiffs was self-inflicted: Continue Reading Defense Victory in Product Labeling Class Action

almond milkAt a recent Politico event, Federal Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb signaled the agency’s shift to a new era of more stringent enforcement in the dairy business. Gottlieb did so with an amusing quote: “An almond doesn’t lactate, I will confess.”

Gottlieb’s curious combination of words was referring to the federal regulation that defines what may be legally marketed as “milk.” Section 131.110 of the Code of Federal Regulations states that “milk is the lacteal secretion, practically free from colostrum, obtained by the complete milking of one or more healthy cows.” Gottlieb’s comment reflected that since almonds do not lactate, the beverage currently known by consumers as “almond milk” does not strictly fall under the definition of milk. Continue Reading (Don’t) Got Milk? FDA Cracking Down on Plant-Based Beverages

Authored by Lori Lustrin and Anthony Sirven.

PomFood and beverage manufacturers are well accustomed to heeding counsel’s advice of dotting their “I’s” and crossing their “T’s” to ensure their product labels comply with applicable governmental regulations. But since the United States Supreme Court’s pronouncement in Pom Wonderful LLC v. Coca-Cola Co., food and beverage makers now face a heightened level of scrutiny from what may be their most formidable challengers—direct competitors.
Continue Reading A Pom Wonderful World: F&B Makers’ New Adversary

YogurtPodpeskar v. Dannon Co., Inc., 16-cv-8478 (KBF) (S.D.N.Y., Dec. 3, 2017)

The Southern District of New York joins the list of federal courts that have recently rejected potential class action suits brought against restaurant and food manufacturers for the alleged false advertisement of their food products as “GMO-free.Continue Reading New York Court Dismisses False “GMO” Advertising Suit

Veggie BurgerYou clearly know the difference between the meat and vegetables on your plate, right? As society has redefined its views on meat and protein intake, however, you may not be so sure.

Plant based proteins have quickly become the food industry’s most popular new addition. With protein now being processed from non-animal sources, the word “meat” is now at the center of a hotly contested legal debate.  Given the ripeness for litigation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Continue Reading The “Beef” With Plant Based “Meat” Product Labels

MenuCertain restaurant owners have less than two months to comply with a new Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) regulation.  On December 1, 2014, the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) published a final rule requiring that qualifying establishments — such as restaurants, grocery stores, and  coffee shops  — list on their menus the calories of regularly sold food items.  The deadline for qualifying restaurants to comply with this rule is now May 7, 2018.   Continue Reading Deadline Draws Near for Restaurant Calorie Labeling Requirement