Federal prosecutors in Chicago are seeking an injunction against Kingdom Farms Wholesale Meats Inc. for allegedly packaging, selling and transporting products without federal marks of inspection and required labeling. U.S. v. Kingdom Farms Wholesale Meats Inc., No. 18-4155 (N.D. Ill., filed June 14, 2018). The complaint asserts that Kingdom Farms removed products from properly labeled shipping containers and repackaged and sold them without inspection marks and labeling, applied inspection labeling without authorization, and reused properly labeled shipping containers without authorization. The U.S. Attorney's Office alleges the defendants’ actions violated the Poultry Products Inspection Act and the Federal Meat Inspection Act and seeks a permanent injunction restraining them from misbranding or mislabeling products and compelling their compliance with the laws.

A federal court in Texas has granted partial summary judgment to WFM Private Label L.P., a subsidiary of Whole Foods Market Inc., in a contract dispute related to 365 Everyday Value Greek yogurt's sugar content. WFM Private Label, L.P., v. 1048547 Ontario Inc., No. 14-1013 (W.D. Tex., entered June 18, 2018). Whole Foods hired Skotidakis Goat Farm (SGF) to supply Greek yogurt products for the 365 Everyday Value brand, and SGF provided the company with nutritional information. SGF later received additional lab results indicating a higher sugar content than previous testing indicated, but it did not notify Whole Foods of the new results until a few days before Consumer Reports published an article alleging that the company's plain yogurt contained five times the sugar content listed on the product labeling. Eleven putative class actions were filed against Whole Foods; according to the vendor agreement, SGF had an obligation to indemnify Whole Foods in the lawsuits.…

Two consumers have filed a putative class action alleging that Eden Creamery "underfills its 'pints' of ice cream"—“[d]ramatically so at times, and as a course of business." Kamal v. Eden Creamery LLC, No. 18-1298 (S.D. Cal., filed June 15, 2018). The complaint alleges, "Purchasers of the premium-priced ice cream simply have no idea how much ice cream they will get each and every time they buy a Halo Top 'pint.' And Halo Top has been doing this for years." The "amount of underfilling appears to be random to consumers" and "appears to be unrelated to flavor of ice cream or the location of purchase," the plaintiffs assert. The complaint also points to a form allegedly created by Halo Top that allows consumers to report underfilled containers to argue that Halo Top knows of its alleged underfilling practices. The plaintiffs allege violations of California's consumer-protection statutes and seek class certification, damages, an…

A Missouri federal court has dismissed with prejudice a putative class action alleging Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. mislabels Canada Dry Ginger Ale because it does not contain ginger. Webb v. Dr Pepper Snapple Grp. Inc., No. 17-0624 (W.D. Mo., entered June 21, 2018). The court approved a stipulated voluntary dismissal filed by the named plaintiff. In April 2018, the court denied the beverage maker’s motion to dismiss, finding the plaintiff had adequately pleaded all of the seven counts alleged.

A consumer has filed a lawsuit alleging that the packaging for Chicago Bar Co.'s RXBAR misleads consumers about the ingredients of the product. Pizzirusso v. Chicago Bar Co., No. 18-3529 (E.D.N.Y., filed June 15, 2018). RXBAR and RXBAR Kids products feature a list of ingredients on the front of the package—for example, the blueberry flavor's packaging reads, "3 Egg Whites, 6 Almonds, 4 Cashews, 2 Dates, No B.S."—with an additional ingredient list on the back of the package. According to the complaint, both lists obscure the actual ingredients; rather than egg whites, the plaintiff argues, RXBARs contain egg white protein powder, which a previous version of the packaging allegedly named. "[P]arents correctly wouldn't want to buy their young children foods which contained concentrated protein powders, for a variety of reasons related to normal adolescent and child development," the plaintiff argues. Further, the "fruit pieces incorporated into the Products are 'infused' (flavored)…

A woman has filed a lawsuit alleging that she contracted Salmonella Mbandaka after consuming Kellogg Co.'s Honey Smacks cereal. Lemieux v. Kellogg Co., No. 18-0682 (W.D. Mich., filed June 20, 2018). The infection is apparently part of an outbreak of Salmonella that began in March 2018 that has infected 73 people in 31 states. The plaintiff alleges that after eating Honey Smacks every morning for two weeks, she "lost her appetite entirely," experienced "agonizing abdominal craps" and had a fever of 104 degrees. For allegations of strict liability, negligence and breach of warranty, the plaintiff seeks damages of more than $25,000 and attorney's fees.

As part of a proposal to reorganize several federal agencies, the Trump administration has recommended that food-safety regulatory oversight be shifted to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), combining the agency's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) with the current food purview of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). According to the proposal, the Government Accountability Office found that the existing approach "has caused inconsistent oversight, ineffective coordination, and inefficient use of resources" and recommends "merging Federal food safety functions as a potential solution to this fragmentation." For example, the administration suggests, "[W]hile FSIS has regulatory responsibility for the safety of liquid eggs, FDA has regulatory responsibility for the safety of eggs while they are inside of their shells; FDA regulates cheese pizza, but if there is pepperoni on top, it falls under the jurisdiction of FSIS; FDA regulates closed-faced meat sandwiches, while FSIS regulates open-faced meat sandwiches." The proposed USDA agency, the…

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released draft guidance on intentional adulteration of the food supply. The guidance aims to help manufacturers develop and implement plans to protect their products by providing details on the components of a food defense plan, including vulnerability assessments, mitigation strategies and training requirements. Large businesses must have a plan by July 26, 2019, with enforcement dates in 2020 and 2021 for small or very small businesses. FDA also indicated that it will issue two further installments of draft guidance on intentional adulteration focusing on vulnerability assessments and corrective actions. "The likelihood of an incident at a particular facility is low, but the intentional adulteration of the U.S. food supply represents a very serious threat – one that could have devastating public health consequences," FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement. "The goal of this draft guidance, in its entirety, is to…

California's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has determined that coffee will not be required to carry a label indicating that it contains chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm pursuant to the state's Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act (Proposition 65). According to the notice, "Coffee, a unique and complex chemical mixture made from the roasted seeds of the coffee plant, contains many different compounds, including carcinogens listed under Proposition 65, and anticarcinogens. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)—the only Proposition 65 authoritative body to have evaluated coffee—concluded that coffee consumption is not classifiable as to its overall carcinogenicity and is associated with reduced risk of certain cancers in humans." Written comments on the determination will be accepted until August 30, 2018.

The Cornucopia Institute has released "The Turkish Infiltration of the U.S. Organic Grain Market: How Failed Enforcement and Ineffective Regulations Made the U.S. Ripe for Fraud and Organized Crime," a report arguing that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has failed to "curb the infiltration of questionable organic grain imports" into the U.S. food supply. The report alleges that shipments of grain have arrived from Turkey, Russia, Moldova and Kazakhstan that were purportedly sourced from countries that do not have sufficient organic acreage to produce the amount of imported organic grains. The report accompanies a Cornucopia letter urging Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to "implement protocols and procedures to require testing of any bulk shipment of 'organic' grain that meets minimum volume or monetary value thresholds and is presented for import at ports, docks, and border crossings of the United States." "We again urge the USDA to engage in emergency…

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