On June 4, 2021, the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a putative state law consumer class action claiming that chicken products marketed by Trade Joe’s were mislabeled. Webb v. Trader Joe’s Co., ___ F.3d ___, No. 19-56389 (9th Cir. June 4, 2021). The labels stated that the products contained “[u]p to 5% retained water,” but plaintiff claimed that an independent laboratory test showed that the products “contained on average, 9% Retained Water.” Slip op. at 5. The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s ruling that all of plaintiff’s claims were pre-empted by the federal Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA), 21 U.S.C. § 467e. Continue reading “Ninth Circuit Bounces Consumer’s Claim of Misleading Poultry Product Labeling”
By John M. Simpson.
The New York Times recently reported on an interesting (and unsettling) animal law development in a European Union member country. According to the report, an area of Belgium – Flanders – adopted a law that eliminates any religious exception to the otherwise generally applicable animal welfare law requirement that an animal harvested for food be stunned prior to slaughter. The law took effect as of the first of the year, and is similar to a measure adopted in the Belgian region of Wallonia that will take effect in September. Continue reading “Animal Welfare or Anti-Semitism?”
by Michelle C. Pardo
Animal rights and environmental activists have long led the charge into federal and state courts with consumer fraud actions challenging representations made about animal products, ostensibly arguing that consumers are misled by animal welfare claims on labels, but often with the ultimate goal of removing from a label something that the activists fear is influencing consumers’ purchase of an animal product.
Missouri’s new, first-in-the-nation law (amending its prior meat advertising law) prohibits companies from “misrepresenting a product as meat that is not derived from harvested livestock or poultry.” Mo. Rev. Stat. § 265.494(7). This amendment may put animal and environmental activist groups on their heels as it changes the way that products not derived from animals can be labeled.