GMA Litigation Webinar: Current Issues in the Food, Beverage, and Consumer Packaged Goods Industry

Program Agenda

1:00 – 1:05pm 
Welcome and Introductions

Steven Leslie, Esq., GMA Claims Program

1:05 – 2:05pm     
Capturing Recall Costs:  Measuring and Recovering the Losses

Product recalls seem to be on the rise, due to new FDA regulations, stepped-up enforcement and increased consumer awareness.  A new study, conducted by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) in collaboration with Covington & Burling LLP, an international law firm, and Ernst & Young, a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services, concludes that in the wake of a recall, multiple business functions must be engaged in order to manage a recall effectively and minimize its impact on the business.

This presentation, based on a year-long study of 34 participating GMA-member companies, will cover leading practices for food and beverage manufacturers, ingredient suppliers and other businesses in handling the risk management and financial aspects of a recall, from supplier indemnities to insurance coverage, in order to minimize the impact of product recalls on your bottom line.

Suzan Charlton, Covington & Burling LLP
Allen Melton and Bradley Nichols, Ernst & Young LLP                

2:05 – 3:05pm
What’s New With “Natural” Consumer Fraud Litigation?
The wave of consumer fraud class actions challenging foods and beverages labeled as “natural” shows no signs of stopping.  Within the past few months, plaintiffs’ lawyers have come up with new ways to attack a “natural” claim, new allegations of harm, and new requested remedies.  This presentation will discuss the latest developments, including:

  • The next generation of claims:  Processing, vitamins and genetic engineering
  • Beyond economic loss: allegations of harm to health and the environment
  • The latest filings:  new pleadings strategy and requests for relief
  • What works:  Defense strategies and considerations
  • What’s next: Pure, sustainable and clean label

Sarah L. Brew, Esq., Faegre Baker Daniels LLP

3:05 – 3:55pm     
How to Avoid Litigation Related to “Kosher” Product Claims

In May, a class-action lawsuit was filed in Minnesota claiming that Hebrew National hot dogs are not in fact kosher.  The manufacturer has denied the allegation, and Triangle K (which supervises and certifies kosher products for a number of major brands) has called this claim “outrageously false and defamatory.”  However, this lawsuit is not surprising considering the recent spate of attacks against other food label claims.  This presentation will not only address class action litigation regarding kosher claims, but it will also provide an overview of kosher laws and their various sources, the role of certifying agencies, the differences between meat and non-meat kosher certification, the emerging concept of “ethically kosher,” and the constitutionality of kosher fraud laws.

Corey L. Gordon, Blackwell Burke PA

3:55 – 4:00pm     
Closing Remarks

Steven Leslie, Esq., GMA Claims Program