A consumer has filed a putative class action alleging that North Dallas Honey Co. sells its Nature Nate’s honey as “100% raw” but heats it to 120 degrees during bottling. Pierce v. N. Dallas Honey Co., No. 19-0410-B (N.D. Tex., Dallas Div., filed February 19, 2019). The plaintiff argues that heating honey to more than 105 degrees can cause “[m]ost or all of the enzymes” to be “lost” or “denatured.” The plaintiff cites the “international standard promulgated by Codex Alimentarius for honey” to argue that Nature Nate’s honey contains elevated values of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), which can indicate that “the honey has been heated enough to break down the enzymes contained in the honey.” The complaint further asserts that the honey product “is also not necessarily 100% honey” because some tested samples allegedly “showed that syrups had been added to the honey.” For allegations of negligence, fraudulent misrepresentation, fraudulent concealment, unjust enrichment and violations of state and federal consumer-protection statutes, the plaintiff seeks damages, class certification, attorney’s fees and costs.

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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.