Venable partner Angel Garganta was interviewed in a November 29, 2016, Food Navigator article on false advertising litigation aimed at food and beverage companies. In recent years, hundreds of class action suits have been filed against food and beverage companies and "natural" and "healthy" claims are expected to trigger more suits.
Discussing a new GMO labeling law, Garganta says he does not expect lawsuits over non-GMO claims to disappear. While the law allows organic certified products to use the non-GMO term, products not meeting the bio-engineered definition will not be able to use the term if they are not organic. Garganta predicted this would create areas of uncertainty for plaintiff's attorney to exploit.
Commenting on the number of lawsuits over the past year, Garganta said, "What you see in the filings is just the tip of the iceberg. There are attorneys out there that do nothing but send out demand letters and have no intention of filing actual lawsuits." He added, "One thing that’s changed the game is the internet. Now every time the FDA sends out a warning letter it goes up on the website and the plaintiff's bar jumps on it, even though some technical violation of a labeling law does not necessarily equal consumer deception."