Nebraska State Sen. Carol Blood has reintroduced her bill to define "meat" as a product derived from animals following a withdrawal of her previous bill. The updated proposal would define meat as "any edible portion of any livestock or poultry carcass or part thereof and does not include insect-based, plant-based, or lab-grown food products." The bill would also include advertising or selling "an insect-based, a plant-based, or a lab-grown food product as meat" as a deceptive trade practice.
A Nebraska state senator has withdrawn a proposed bill to define "meat" as an animal-derived product. Sen. Carol Blood submitted the bill to protect the state's meat industry, according to the Washington Post. "All I'm asking for is truth in advertising. It's clear that meat comes from livestock, and livestock is our livelihood in Nebraska," Blood reportedly said. A motion to withdraw the bill was filed January 23, 2019, and Blood did not comment on the withdrawal.
Three Nebraska farmers have pleaded guilty to charges of fraud stemming from the sale of grain misrepresented as organic. According to a Department of Justice press release, the men "admitted to growing grain between 2010 and 2017 that was not organic. Each further admitted that they knew the grain was being marketed and sold as organic, even though it was not in fact organically grown. The charging documents allege that, during the 2010 to 2017 period, each of the three farmers received more than $2.5 million for grain marketed as organic." Each defendant faces a possible 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Back Yard Burgers of Nebraska, Inc. has agreed to settle claims that it violated the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) by allegedly using the last five digits of customer credit-card numbers on its older receipts, instead of the last four digits. Keith v. Back Yard Burgers of Neb., Inc., No. 11-0135 (D. Neb., order preliminarily approving class settlement entered September 15, 2014). The company will pay $2,792,400 into a settlement fund, will provide coupons for a free soft drink with the purchase of an entrée to class members who submit valid claims, will not contest class counsel fees of up to 40 percent of the consent judgment—or $1,116,960—will quitclaim assign to the plaintiff any claim it may have against Data Cash Register (DCR) related to the class action and cooperate in pursuing collection of a consent judgment against DCR, and will comply with FACTA going forward. The class…
One of the 750 beef processing plant employees who lost his job in the wake of recent negative publicity involving “lean finely textured beef,” otherwise referred to in the media as “pink slime,” has reportedly filed a lawsuit in a Nebraska state court naming as defendants celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, ABC’s Diane Sawyer, a blogger, and 10 unnamed individuals. Bruce Smith, who worked as senior counsel and director of environmental, health and safety at Beef Products, Inc., is apparently seeking $70,000 in damages on the ground that the company “and its employees were unfairly and unnecessarily maligned and accused of producing a food product that did not exist, a product that critics unfairly labeled ‘pink slime.’” The publicity apparently led to the loss of numerous contracts for the product’s purchase. See The Daily Mail, December 12, 2012.
A Nebraska resident alleging that his consumption of Listeria-contaminated cantaloupe grown by Jensen Farms in Colorado caused his infection and subsequent hospitalization, has filed a personal injury action against the grower, distributor, retailer, and the company hired by the grower to conduct a food safety audit before the outbreak. Braddock v. Jensen Farms, No. 11-402 (D. Neb., filed November 30, 2011). According to the complaint, Primus Group, Inc. was negligent in performing the audit and failing to detect Listeria or conditions leading to Listeria contamination at the grower’s facilities and, in breaching its contract with the grower, harmed the plaintiff, a third-party beneficiary. The plaintiff also alleges strict product liability, breach of warranty, negligence, and negligence per se against the other defendants and seeks general, special and incidental damages.
Food litigator William Marler has reportedly filed the first lawsuit against CW Sprouts for a recent Salmonella Saintpaul outbreak that purportedly sickened more than 100 in Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota. Stephen Beumler of Omaha apparently claims that he ate a sandwich with the company’s alfalfa sprouts and fell ill with the Salmonella strain traced to its products. Filed in a federal court in Nebraska, the lawsuit alleges product liability, negligence and violations of implied warranties of merchantability. Beumler reportedly seeks unspecified damages and attorney’s fees. See U.S. Food Law Report, April 3, 2009.
Nebraska Beef, Ltd. has filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking a declaration that it was not responsible for the E. coli contamination that led to the recall of nearly 7 million pounds of beef in 2008. Nebraska Beef, Ltd. v. Meyer Foods Holdings, L.L.C., No. 09-43 (D. Neb., filed January 30, 2009). According to the complaint, the defendant provided the meat subject to the recall to Nebraska Beef for processing and shipping. When contaminants were found, the defendant informed Nebraska Beef that legal claims were being made against it and demanded indemnification from Nebraska Beef. Stating that it “expressly denies the Contamination originated at its processing plant; that it was negligent in its processing or handling of any cattle or product; or that it breached any of the terms of its agreement(s) with Meyer Natural Foods,” Nebraska Beef, which has also been sued over the incident, requests a judicial declaration as…