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Technical Food Label Errors: A Gateway To Bigger Issues?

I spend a lot of time looking at labels. Some might say I have a bad case of Labelitis. I know my kids would agree. I can’t go to the grocery store or pick up a drink without looking at the label to see what is right and wrong with the label. However, as anyone who follows the daily docket of cases being filed knows, I’m not the only one reviewing labels.

While federal and state regulators continue to scrutinize labels to ensure compliance, other parties are looking closer as well. State attorney general offices, offices of respective district attorneys and even city attorneys, as evidenced by the recent settlement between the city of Santa Monica and the makers of Neurobrands LLC, have initiated myriad proceeding over labeling claims. Never have consumers been more conscious of what they are actually putting in their body and scanning that label is often the first step to acquiring the requisite knowledge about a product.

And, of course, plaintiff lawyers are looking at labels to see what might be the basis for their next class action. This unprecedented level of scrutiny is why I always counsel my clients to avoid “crooked numbers.” And while “crooked numbers,” in and of themselves, don’t seem terribly egregious, they can be the pathway to other, much more serious problems.

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