Court Refuses to Dismiss Omega-3 Claims Against Walnut Producer
A federal court in California has denied a walnut producer’s request to dismiss claims alleging that the company falsely advertises its products by asserting that the omega-3 in walnuts has certain health benefits. Zeisel v. Diamond Foods, Inc., No. 10-01192 (N.D. Cal., filed September 3, 2010) (unpublished). Alleging violations of California consumer protection laws, the plaintiff claims that the “statements are misleading because the Shelled Walnut products do not provide the health benefits claimed on the package labels.” The defendant argued that the plaintiff’s claims were preempted by the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and Nutrition Labeling and Education Act. The court disagreed, finding neither express nor implied preemption. According to the court, the claims either did not fall within the scope of federal law or state law imposed identical requirements, which are allowed under federal law.