Consumer Law

No end to food fight in California federal courts over alleged mislabeling


Image from Shutterstock.

The food industry is fighting dozens of mislabeling suits filed in federal courts in California’s Northern District, but so far it has not been able to win dismissal of any of the complaints at an early stage.

The Bay area is “now home to the nation’s Food Court,” the San Jose Mercury News reports. The suits claim food packaging touting the health benefits of foods are deceiving shoppers and violating the state’s consumer protection laws. The food industry, on the other hand, says many of the suits are based on cookie-cutter complaints seeking settlements and big legal fees for the lawyers who filed them.

Most of the suits in Northern California have been filed by San Jose lawyer Pierce Gore, the story says. Last week he sued Rold Gold pretzels for labels touting the snack as “fat free,” “low fat,” and “all natural.” Unhealthy ingredients such as salt are listed in fine print on the back of the package, the complaint says. Another suit targets Twinings Tea for its claims about antioxidant benefits.

“This is much larger than tobacco,” Gore told the San Jose Mercury News. “Not everybody smokes. But everybody eats.”

Hat tip to How Appealing.

We welcome your comments, but please adhere to our comment policy and the ABA Code of Conduct.

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.