Perkins Coie’s Food Litigation group has published its first Food Litigation Year in Review, covering key developments and trends in food litigation for calendar year 2016. The Year in Review reflects our active monitoring of food litigation filings in jurisdictions nationwide. Against that backdrop, the Year in Review analyzes key legal developments in cases involving claims challenging the labeling, composition, and regulatory compliance of food and beverage manufacturers.
The Year in Review’s key insights include data-driven assessments of how (and where) the plaintiffs’ bar has continued its assault on the food industry in 2016. That data reflects the filing of 140 new class actions and nearly 250 Proposition 65 warning letters aimed at food and beverage companies. This data is broken down by category, reflecting litigation activity covering a wide swath of claims, with persistent filings challenging “natural” claims (including for products containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs)), slack fill, and cases attacking the labeling of foods containing added sugar. The Year in Review also summarizes Proposition 65 regulatory updates and associated litigation risks.