Lawsuits have been filed against food corporations for a variety of reasons, such as erroneous labelling, undesired substances, and the spread of salmonella and E. coli. These situations could change both the manner that manufacturers conduct their operations and the recipes they use.
Lawyers told Food Dive that glyphosate contamination, lawsuits challenging label claims, food-related illnesses, and defective slack fill have all kept them busy. Pioneering lawyer Bill Marler can speak to the recent increase in cases involving foodborne diseases.
Giant Food Companies are the target of 5 lawsuits.
It is not what its devoted following wants to hear, but LaCroix has come under fire this year for allegedly mislabeling their water as “natural” while the actual ingredients are synthetic and non-natural compounds. The substance contains ethyl butanoate, limonene, linalool, and linalool propionate, claims the lawsuit, which was filed on October 1. Linalool can be found in cockroach insecticide.
LaCroix touts its product as a “natural” alternative to soda, but it’s possible that a jury will have to determine if the ingredients in the sparkling beverage are actually obtained from natural sources and what constitutes “natural.”
According to the National Beverage Corporation, LaCroix’s ingredients are “100% natural” and “drawn from the natural essence oils from the designated fruit utilised in each of the flavours.” The choice might require the corporation to modify its labelling.
Around 300 lawsuits have been filed in the previous three years, according to information cited by CBS News, challenging the use of the word “natural” on food products. These claims about fake chemicals are spreading more widely. Label claims are a serious issue because there is no agreed-upon definition of the term “natural.”
Effects of the large beef recall by JBS
JBS Tolleson, Inc. in Arizona recalled almost 7 million pounds of raw beef products in October due to potential salmonella contamination. The company subsequently expanded the recall last month to cover more than 12 million pounds of raw beef. Dana Raab, who ingested ground beef from the establishment and contracted salmonella, filed a lawsuit against JBS Tolleson in Arizona Superior Court on October 5 after experiencing extreme dehydration, diarrhoea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.
This kind of widespread outbreak necessitates quick product recalls and cleanup, and it makes manufacturers more vulnerable to scrutiny when lawsuits are filed months later.
With the 12 million pounds of the recall having been raised, a recall of this scope may lead to several legal actions. Marler expected that similar lawsuits would probably be filed because so many people would have taken the chemical.
In a federal lawsuit, a man from Missouri claimed that Hershey purposefully sold confectionery like Whoppers and Reese’s Pieces in packets that were only partially filled and overstuffed with non-functional slack fill. Hershey was “misleading, deceptive, and unlawful,” the customer said. The lawsuit asserts that Hershey only utilised about 59 percent of a $1-sized box of Whoppers.
The U.S. district judge ruled that the plaintiff was not harmed by the half completed parcels because he continued to buy them. In a single transaction, he purchased more than 600 boxes of Hershey’s chocolate.
A California jury awarded $289 million to a former school groundskeeper in August after concluding that the weed killer glyphosate in Monsanto’s Roundup was a direct cause of the man’s disease. Shortly after, a Florida woman sued General Mills for failing to disclose the use of glyphosate in its Cheerios products. After the lawsuit was filed, a General Mills spokesman told Food Navigator that the company’s products are safe and compliant with all applicable safety regulations.
Given the outcomes of other glyphosate cases involving food, it’s possible that this plaintiff won’t have a good chance of winning. Businesses typically prevail by asserting that the level of glyphosate in their products is exceedingly minimal and won’t have an adverse effect on consumers’ health.
Regardless of the outcome of the case, any glyphosate-containing products may have suffered from the bad press. Recipes and formulation may need to alter regardless of the outcome of the legal battle if customers lose faith in goods created with ingredients that might have come into contact with glyphosate.
romaine outbreak of E. coli
149 people in 29 states were impacted by the first E. coli incident of the year, which was linked to romaine lettuce farmed in Arizona. The legal process has only just begun for numerous victims who have filed lawsuits in connection with this incident. About a dozen legal complaints have been made by Marler against various eateries, shops, and suppliers involved in the romaine supply chain. According to the US Centers for Disease Control, Arizona-grown romaine has been linked to at least 31 cases nationwide.
These cases may end up costing individuals in the romaine business a lot of money in damages, depending on the outcomes of the numerous cases and how ill the victims were made by the greens.
The lettuce infestations have already triggered changes. To lessen issues with food safety in the supply chain, businesses and retailers had to develop better procedures. Walmart asked lettuce suppliers to use blockchain to track items after a report on how to stop another epidemic like this was published.