A California state court has approved the settlement agreement in a
lawsuit brought by the Center for Environmental Health (CEH) alleging
that PepsiCo Inc. products contain levels of 4-methylimidazole (4-MEI)
that exceed the limits imposed by the state’s Safe Drinking Water and
Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (Prop. 65). Ctr. for Envtl. Health v. Pepsi
Beverages Co., No. 14711020 (Cal. Super. Ct., order entered September
17, 2015). Under the settlement agreement, PepsiCo will pay $385,000
and must ensure by January 1, 2016, that its soft drinks sold in California
contain levels of 4-MEI within the safe harbor limits set by Prop. 65.
CEH initially filed a notice of violation with the California Office of the
Attorney General in January 2012; details appear in Issue 427 of this

Meanwhile, the parties to a proposed class action alleging similar facts
have agreed to stay the case until December 14, 2015, pending settlement
discussions; the court has not yet granted approval for the stay. Sciortino
v. PepsiCo, Inc., No. 178953 (N.D. Cal., stipulation filed September 15,
2015). Additional information about the case appears in Issue 568 of this
Update, and details of a similar lawsuit dismissed in March 2015 appear
in Issue 557.


Issue 579

About The Author

For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.