A plaintiff has filed two similar lawsuits against H.J. Heinz Co. and
Rockstar, Inc. alleging the companies’ products wrongfully bear “Made in
the USA” label claims because they contain “foreign ingredients.” Alaei v.
Rockstar, Inc., No. 15-2959 (S.D. Cal., filed December 31, 2015); Alaei v.
H.J. Heinz Co., No. 15-2961 (S.D. Cal., filed December 31, 2015).

Heinz 57® sauce, one complaint argues, is misrepresented as manufactured
in the United States because some of its ingredients, including
“turmeric, tamarind extract, and jalapenos, among other ingredients,”
are “not from the United States.” Similarly, Rockstar’s Sugar Free
beverage, described as “Made in the USA” on the label, contains “various
amounts of taurine, guarana seed extract, and milk thistle extract,
which, among other ingredients in Defendants’ products, are not from
the United States.” These foreign ingredients, the complaint argues, are
problematic because they are not subject to the same strict regulatory
requirements and “are of inferior quality, potentially more dangerous
and less reliable.” In both complaints, the plaintiff seeks class certification,
declaratory judgment, an injunction and damages.


Issue 589

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.

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