More than 200 class action lawsuits have been filed against many major food companies over the past several years. Now, when a food company considers whether to include a claim in its marketing, it needs to consider not only the risk of enforcement action by regulatory authorities or proceedings instituted by a competitor, but the possibility of a class action lawsuit.

"Anyone providing counseling about promotional representations for use in food advertising and labeling knows that traditional authorities no longer are the sole enforcement risk that must be contemplated.  As the ongoing epidemic of class action lawsuits challenging food claims reflects, the plaintiffs' bar is now a formidable risk because of the large monetary costs and negative publicity that being sued can entail," notes Michael J. O'Flaherty, a principal attorney at OFW Law.

A primer about the “Ongoing Epidemic of Class Action Lawsuits Challenging Food Claims” has just been published by The Food Institute, authored by OFW Law. With respect to this current trend, the primer addresses who plaintiffs are, how cases arise, what types of labeling/advertising claims have been the focus, and how a company can avoid becoming a target.

With this report, food manufacturers can understand what will make them susceptible to class action suits, such as the popular claim "natural," and what they can do to decrease their risk. The primer also includes an exemplary list of about 85 class action cases, each with a summary explanation of the case's issue/holding, that can jumpstart your regulatory/legal research.

The primer includes not only a summary of significant claims that have been challenged in class actions, but also an overview of strategies to avoid becoming a target and defensive tactics to utilize if ever targeted.

To order the primer, visit