Food and Supplement Labeling
A Knowledgeable Consumer Law Lawyer Can Help You Pursue Your Options
Deceptive food labels can have serious consequences, whether it is because of inaccurate nutritional information or misleading statements about the item’s content. These mistakes, deceptions and examples of outright fraud can have serious consequences for people who suffer from food allergens, as well as those looking to avoid certain additives or preservatives. Fortunately, there are a number of federal and state laws the protect consumers from deceptive food labels. It is important that anyone considering enforcing their rights consult a seasoned consumer law lawyer. A consumer class action attorney can help you weigh your rights and options and build the strongest possible case, along with guiding you through the legal process every step of the way.
At Glancy Prongay & Murray, we represent a wide range of people across the country and around the globe who have been subjected to deceptive business practices. That includes people who have been deceived by false or misleading food labels. We have a strong track record of getting optimal results for the people that we represent. In 2018 alone, our firm recovered $182 million in settlement money for clients in consumer fraud and other cases.
Misleading “All Natural” and “Organic” Food Labels
Food companies regularly manipulate consumers by claiming that a particular product is “all natural” or “organic,” but those terms might not mean the same thing to everyone.
Federal law sets certain standards for the production, handling and processing of foods in order for them be labeled “organic.” It also places limits on how food producers label products that have some organic qualities.
An item must be at least 95 percent organic in order to use the “organic” designation on labels and packaging. Only products that are completely organic can marketed as such. Items comprised of at least 70 percent organic ingredients may be marketed as “made with organic ingredients.”
When companies do not abide by these restrictions, it can harm consumers by creating confusion in the marketplace.
Other Types of Deceptive Labeling
Deceptive food labeling comes in a wide variety of forms. That includes:
- Nutritional claims: Food producers often make statements about the nutritional value of a product that are not backed up with evidence.
- Health claims: Whether it is falsely calling a product “healthy” or misleading consumers about the supposed health benefits of certain foods or ingredients, these claims are mean to lure people into buying the product.
- “Grass fed” claims: Health conscious food shoppers and those concerned about the environmental impact of food production put a lot of faith into claims that animal-based products are “grass fed.”
- “Free range” claim: This designation is supposed to mean that chickens and other animals have been raised in natural conditions where they can roam freely.
- Food allergy claims: Food allergies can be a life or death matter. People who have them look closely at product ingredients lists to ensure that they do not put themselves at risk.
- Product weight: Businesses often fail to properly record the weight of a particular product, leaving shoppers actually buying less of a product than advertised.
Anyone who has been harmed by these or other types of false labeling has the right to hold deceptive businesses fully accountable for their actions. It is vital to have an experienced consumer law lawyer by your side.
State and Federal Laws Prohibiting False Advertising
Various federal and state laws prohibit false advertising and provide certain rights to people who have been scammed by this kind of misinformation.
The Fair Packaging and Label Act, for example, requires food labels to include certain information. That includes accurately identifying the product, listing the name of the manufacturer, packer or distributor and providing the quantity of the product’s contents.
The Nutrition Labeling and Education Act gives the Food and Drug Administration the power to required food producers to provide additional information on their labels. That includes a list of all of the ingredients in the product. There are other additional requirements for certain types of products. Beverages that say they contain juice, for instance, must list the actual percentage of juice on the label.
The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act requires food producers to list any “major food allergens” on their labels.
State laws on food packaging and labeling vary by state.
Class Actions in False Advertising Cases
Anyone who has been harmed by false or misleading food labels has the right to take legal action against those responsible. That includes by pursuing a class action, which is a powerful alternative to an individual lawsuit.
A class action allows a number of people impacted by the same deceptive business practice to enforce their rights in one single lawsuit. The class members must meet certain requirements – like having similar claims against the same food producer – in order to qualify for this option.
The class action route allows people to pool the costs of legal action, spread the risk across class members and leverage their claims.
At Glancy & Prongay, our consumer law lawyers have had significant success in class actions for false food labeling and related cases. We take the majority of our class action cases on a contingency fee basis. That means we only get paid if we win the case, either at trial or through a negotiated settlement. This helps alleviate the financial burden for clients considering legal action for fraud.
Speak With a Consumer Law Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one has been targeted by deceptive food labels, you have the right to seek compensation from those responsible. A seasoned consumer law lawyer can help you build the strongest possible case.
Our consumer attorneys help people fight back against false advertising and other deceptive business practices. We are dedicated to working aggressively to get them the full compensation available under the law.