A looseleaf reference book titled Products Liability: Design and Manufacturing Defects, 2d has been updated with sections considering legal issues relating to genetically modified (GM) foods. The section on “design defects in GM organisms used in food production” discusses the extensive regulatory review to which these substances are subject and notes that no known injury has yet been linked to the use of GM organisms. The section on “failure to warn of idiosyncratic reaction to GM foods” cites cases involving plaintiffs with allergies or unusual susceptibilities involving other types of products. The author adds the following observation: “The same technology that is used to create novel food will provide the tools for preventing risk. Properly managed, novel food can reduce the net incidence of food allergies, through creation of hypoallergenic varieties of common crops. This standard for ‘design’ of food may one day give rise to ‘design defect’ liability for failure to implement a recombinant DNA design for a food product carrying known allergens.”

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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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