A number of microwave popcorn workers and their spouses have reportedly filed a complaint against a flavoring company in a federal court in Illinois, alleging personal injuries, loss of consortium and wrongful death from exposure to the butter flavoring diacetyl. Barker v. Int’l Flavors & Fragrances, Inc., No. 10-48 (S.D. Ill., filed January 21, 2010). The workers were apparently employed by AgriLink, a microwave popcorn manufacturer; they claim that diacetyl exposure can cause the lung disease bronchiolitis obliterans. According to the complaint, the defendant misrepresented the chemical’s safety and hid research on its risks from users. The plaintiffs apparently allege negligence and products liability and are seeking compensatory damages, attorney’s fees and costs. See Mealey’s Food Liability, February 2, 2010.

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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.

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