October 24, 2021

Volume XI, Number 297

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October 22, 2021

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Judge Dismisses Claims against Wegmans Regarding Vanilla Ice Cream Labeling

On July 14, 2020, a New York federal judge dismissed a lawsuit against Wegmans Food Market (“Wegmans”) concerning allegedly deceptive labeling of its vanilla ice cream.  The plaintiffs had alleged that the ice cream was deceptively labeled because it is flavored using flavors from sources other than vanilla bean or vanilla extract but was not described on the principal display panel as being “flavored” vanilla ice cream.

U.S. District Judge Louis Stanton dismissed the claims after determining that the analysis provided by the plaintiffs may not have been sensitive enough to detect all markers of vanilla and, therefore, could not prove that vanilla was not in the product.

In his opinion Judge Stanton also questioned whether the labels for the ice cream were deceptive, as neither the label nor ingredients state that the ice cream uses vanilla bean or extract.  We note that, if asked, FDA may not have agreed that the labeling of this product was in compliance with flavor labeling and ice cream labeling regulations.

As we have previously reported, there have been many similar lawsuits alleging deceptive and misleading labels regarding vanilla products.

© 2021 Keller and Heckman LLPNational Law Review, Volume X, Number 199
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About this Author

Keller and Heckman offers global food and drug services to its clients. Our comprehensive and extensive food and drug practice is one of the largest in the world. We promote, protect, and defend products made by the spectrum of industries regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the European Commission and Member States authorities in the European Union (EU) and similar authorities throughout the world. The products we help get to market include foods, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, veterinary products, dietary supplements, and cosmetics. In addition...

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