A California federal court has denied Boulder Brands, Inc.’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit alleging that the company misrepresents the cholesterol-blocking effect of the plant sterols in its Smart Balance® butter products because the amount of plant sterols is “not enough to generate a ‘clinically meaningful cholesterol blocking effect.’” Mitchell v. Boulder  Brands, Inc., No. 12-1862 (S.D. Cal., order entered April 16, 2015). The court declined to reconsider its earlier decision that “the products’ labels could plausibly be read as implying a ‘clinically meaningful cholesterol blocking benefit’ and that this implied representation is ‘specific, measurable, and falsifiable.’” The expert report upon which the court has based its decision stated that a minimum of 800 milligrams of plant sterols—eight times the content in one serving of the Smart Balance® product—would be the minimum to meaningfully block cholesterol.

 

Issue 563

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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