December 5, 2022

Volume XII, Number 339

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December 05, 2022

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Litigation to Proceed Over Barilla Pasta Sauce with ‘No Preservatives’ Claim

 

 Judge Trims Fraud Suit Targeting Barilla Pasta Sauce

  • A proposed class action lawsuit filed against Barilla America Inc. in October 2018 alleges that consumers in Illinois, California, and Kansas were misled by the claim “no preservatives” on jars of pasta sauce containing citric acid as an ingredient.  The plaintiffs assert that Barilla’s pasta sauce is deceptively labeled as containing no preservatives because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recognizes citric acid as a preservative that delays rancidity, prevents spoilage, and slows certain other changes in food.

  • On December 10, 2021 a federal judge in the Northern District of Illinois ruled from the bench that consumer fraud, breach of warranty, and unjust enrichment claims can proceed against Barilla over the allegedly deceptive labeling.  The judge ruled against the plaintiffs on implied warranty and negligent misrepresentation claims, although leave to amend was granted.  The judge also denied injunctive relief, finding that plaintiffs’ future harm is conditional, being dependent on their choosing to purchase the pasta sauce again as opposed to purchasing a different brand or making their own pasta sauce.

  • As discussed here, a similar false advertising lawsuit brought by the same attorneys was dismissed last year against Kraft Heinz Food Co. concerning its Capri Sun juice products containing citric acid.  The more succinct “no preservatives” labeling on the pasta sauce, however, may be distinguished from “no artificial preservatives” labeling on Capri Sun where the plaintiffs’ case was doomed by problems drawing a connection between the common industry practice used to artificially manufacture citric acid and the actual practice used by Kraft.

© 2022 Keller and Heckman LLPNational Law Review, Volume XI, Number 347
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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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