Brian DeFoe authored an article in Oregon Business magazine’s October issue titled “Food and Beverage Manufacturers: Eschew Compositional Obfuscation.” The article discusses the importance of labeling food and beverage products honestly in order to avoid reputational damage and potential lawsuits.
Every dynamic industry carries the potential for risk, however, and the food industry is no exception. Often these risks arise in the context of food safety (e.g., Chipotle’s seemingly constant battle with incidents of foodborne illness) or mundane issues like labor concerns (e.g., the exacerbation of worker shortages in agriculture that may result from federal immigration policies). But when major lawsuits come to a boil against food companies, most arise under state-law theories of consumer fraud, unfair competition or unfair trade practices. More often than not, these cases hinge on ambiguities in labeling.