food labels, false health claims, litigation, natural foods, country-of-origin labeling, farm interns, mislabeling, menu labeling, animal welfare, California, consumer protection

Document Type



This edition of the Food Law Update explores four legal issues arising in the first half of 2010 reflective of the diverse nature of the food law specialist. As the national debate surrounding the merits of health care reform dominated the legislative agenda, this article first will discuss the food labeling rules embedded within section 4205 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. The authors then analyze the preemptive reach of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and the Meat Inspection Act with respect to three separate California statutes regarding animal welfare standards, retail labels on meat packages and state-based mislabeling claims for "natural" products. Section three further discusses litigation concerning allegedly misleading label claims of health benefits, nutritional composition, natural foods and Country-of-Origin. The final section of this Update explores an increasingly important legal issue common in the local foods/small scale production content - the use of unpaid "interns" as labor and potential changes in regulatory oversight.