Category Archives: Labeling

Supplement Maker Cannot Run Away From False Advertisement Suit

The plaintiffs in a putative class action suit accused Botanical Laboratories (Botanical) of falsely advertising that its glucosamine supplements rebuild cartilage tissue. Specifically, the plaintiffs allege Botanical’s claims are not based upon reliable scientific evidence and were made in contradiction to over twenty different studies.  The plaintiffs’ claims are largely based upon the California Unfair Competition Law, breach of express warranty, and the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act. The Court found these theories are not based upon an interpretation or violation of the Federal Food,…

Continue Reading....

Understanding the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act

Part 8:  Product Descriptions Are Not Warranties. A recent spate of consumer class action cases have, with mixed results, challenged food product labels that describe the contents as being “all natural,” when, for example, they may contain genetically modified ingredients.  These legal challenges often allege violations of both state consumer protection statutes, as well as federal (and sometimes state) breach of warranty claims.  A very recent line of well-reasoned decisions from the California federal courts, arising in the class action context, provide important guidance about…

Continue Reading....

General Mills Prevails In Putative Class Action Lawsuit

The maker of a wide variety of food products, General Mills, was named as the defendant in a putative class action lawsuit in August 2012.  The foundation for the class action lawsuit was the contention that the food manufacturer misrepresented and deceptively marketed its Nature Valley granola products by claiming they were “all natural.”  According to the plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit, Nature Valley granola products were made using a wide variety of non-natural ingredients, such as high fructose corn syrup.  All the…

Continue Reading....

Energy Drink Manufacturers Trend Towards Product Reclassification

Over the past several years the energy drink industry has proven to be wildly popular with consumers, boasting massive gains and a strong foothold in the marketplace.  According to a recent report from Packaged Facts, in 2012, the total U.S. sales for the energy drinks/shots market totaled more than $12.5 billion and are anticipated to swell to $21.5 billion by the year 2017.  Although energy drink manufacturers have had little trouble establishing their product’s popularity, the industry as a whole has also faced increased legal…

Continue Reading....

Energy Drink Maker’s Attempt To Dismiss Class Action Suit Crashes

The plaintiff claimed he did not receive an immediate bolt of energy after ingesting the 5-hour ENERGY drink made by Innovation Ventures LLC.  Moreover, when the drink finally “kicked in,” the effects only lasted for 30 minutes.  Subsequently, he experienced a “crash,” in addition to dizziness, nausea, and headaches. The plaintiff alleges the drink maker deceptively advertised its product by promising “Hours of energy now – No crash later,” or “Feel it in minutes.” Innovation Ventures LLC attempted to dismiss the proposed class action by…

Continue Reading....

Modifying the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act to Include Warnings for Genetically Engineered Food

The Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act (FDCA) mandates food producers include certain warning labels with food products notifying consumers of the product’s nutritional content, the presence of certain allergens, or if the food contains a toxicant beyond acceptable limits.  Food products with labels that are false or misleading, or that are presented in a false or misleading manner, are considered “misbranded foods,” and are prohibited from introduction into interstate commerce.  The FDCA, however, does not specifically address the issue of genetically modified foods. Since 1992,…

Continue Reading....

Not a “Miracle” After All – Marketers and Distributors of Facial Cream Named in Putative Class Action Law Suit

The marketers and distributors of a facial cream that was touted as a “miracle” wrinkle reducer were recently named in a putative class action lawsuit filed in New Jersey Federal Court. According to the lawsuit, there is a dearth of scientific or medical support for the claim that the facial cream actually reduces wrinkles. However, according to the lawsuit, the marketers and distributors of the facial cream regularly promoted it as a “miracle” or “breakthrough” product for reducing wrinkles. Moreover, the plaintiff in the class…

Continue Reading....

What’s In a Label? Food and Drug Administration Proposal Seeks to Establish New Standard for Labeling Food as “Gluten Free”

The Nutrition Labeling and Education Act requires almost all packaged food products to bear a Nutrition Facts label.  The law also allows manufacturers to provide other nutritional information on labels, including various types of “claims,” as long as the statements comply with regulatory limits that govern the use of each type of statement.  There are three types of claims that may appear on a nutritional facts label:  1) health claims; 2) nutrient content claims (e.g., “low fat”); and 3) structure/function claims (e.g., “calcium builds…

Continue Reading....

Losing Some Buzz – Budweiser Sued For Allegedly Watering Down Its Beer

Anheuser-Busch, the brewer of a number of well known beers including Budweiser and Michelob, was recently named in class-action lawsuits filed in Pennsylvania, California and other states.  The theory underlying these class-action lawsuits is the assertion that Anheuser-Busch mislead consumers about the alcohol content in the beer they were drinking.  According to the plaintiffs in these class-action lawsuits, the Budweiser and Michelob brands of beer claim on the label to contain 5% alcohol.  However, former yet unnamed Anheuser-Busch employees contend the brewer adds…

Continue Reading....

Mothers against False Advertising: Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Pharmaceutical Giant

In the latest of a string of recent cases attacking advertising of health foods and products, two mothers have filed a class action lawsuit against a multi-national pharmaceutical giant alleging that the company has pulled the baby soft wool over their eyes by advertising Aveeno Baby Wash products as all-natural, when it contains numerous additional synthetic chemical ingredients. Plaintiffs, Rebecca Virgil and Heidi Langan, have alleged that the products Aveeno Baby Wash and Aveeno Baby Calming Comfort Bath falsely advertise the phrase “Natural Oat Formula”…

Continue Reading....