A New Mexico federal court has dismissed allegations that several food companies falsely labeled beef as a “Product of the USA” because the cattle were raised in other countries but brought to the United States for slaughter and processing. Shook attorneys represented Tyson Foods Inc. in the litigation. Lucero v. Tyson Foods Inc., No. 20-0106 (D.N.M., entered August 27, 2020).

“Plaintiffs do not seek to impose equivalent requirements as those imposed by the [U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)] or to enforce the USDA’s labeling requirements,” the court stated. “Rather, they seek to impose different labeling requirements by asking this Court to declare USDA approved labels misleading. Plaintiffs’ interpretation of 21 USC § 678 would render the express presumption clause a nullity.” The court, holding that all of the plaintiffs’ claims were preempted and that the plaintiffs failed to state a claim as a matter of law, dismissed the case with prejudice.

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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.