A comprehensive summary of today’s judicial, legislative, and regulatory developments in agriculture and food. Email important additions HERE.


Judicial: Food Labeling

In STACEY TROPP v. PRAIRIE FARMS DAIRY, INC., No. 20-CV-1035-JDP, 2021 WL 5416639 (W.D. Wis. Nov. 19, 2021), the court determined whether defendant’s product label for their “Premium Vanilla Bean Ice Cream” was deceptive. Plaintiff argued that the product was deceptive because the label misstated the common or usual name of the product. The court determined that the common or usual name of the product was simply ice cream and the plaintiff’s argument did not allege that the product was falsely labeled as ice cream.

Plaintiff also argued that the use of the phrase “vanilla bean” was false, deceptive, or misleading because it suggested that real vanilla beans were in the product. The court held that a reasonable consumer would assume that “vanilla bean” indicated the flavor of the ice cream and therefore the label was not false, deceptive, or misleading. The court dismissed all of plaintiffs claims with prejudice.

In JACLYNN BROWN v. KERRY INC., No. 20CV9730PGGJLC, 2021 WL 5446007 (S.D.N.Y. Nov. 22, 2021), the court determined whether the defendants committed false advertising for their Chai Tea Latte Concentrate product. The plaintiff argued that the label on the product with the statement “Slightly Sweet” led consumers to believe that the product was low in sugar. The court found that the statement was mere puffery and that it could not support the plaintiff’s claims. Furthermore, the court found that the product’s nutrition fact panel listed the sugar and calorie contents of the beverage and that defeated the claim of deception. The court concluded that all of the plaintiff’s claims should be dismissed because her core argument failed to support any claims. The court dismissed all of plaintiff’s claims without prejudice.