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


JUDICIAL: Includes Food Labeling and Clean Air Act

In Hawkins v. Kroger Company, 2019 WL 4416132 (S.D. Cal, 2019), the Court addressed a putative class action lawsuit alleging that the Defendant sold a bread crumb product that contained partially hydrogenated oil, a food additive banned in many countries because of its artificial trans-fat content. The Court ruled that if the Defendant continues to object to certain requests as seeking confidential information, proprietary information, or trade secrets, then the Defendant must support those objections with evidence establishing that the information actually is confidential or proprietary, explain why the Protection Order is insufficient to protect the information, and/or file a motion for a protective order to protect the disclosure of the allegedly confidential information.

In Fresh Air for the Eastside, Inc. v. Waste Management of New York, L.L.C., 2019 WL 4415682 (W.D.N.Y., 2019), the Defendant filed motions to dismiss. The WMNY’s motion to dismiss the Complaint was dismissed as moot and WMNY’s motion to dismiss the Amended Complaint was granted as to the private nuisance and trespass claims but it was otherwise denied. The Court states that WMNY owes the Plaintiff’s, as adjacent landowners and residents, a duty of care “to operate the Landfill in a reasonable manner.” Furthermore, the court stated that the plaintiffs had adequately laid out examples of alleged negligent behavior. With regard to gross negligence, the Court stated that “Plaintiffs set forth factual allegations that, taken as true, demonstrate that WMNY modified its Collection System knowing that those modifications were detrimental to the system’s efficiency. The Court did dismiss the trespass claims because New York law does not recognize a trespass claim based on intangible invasions upon real property.




Notice of a public meeting entitled “A New Era of Smarter Food Safety” to get input from a broad cross-section of stakeholders on a modern approach the Agency is taking to strengthen its protection of the food supply. Info here.