Labeling Risk Management – Five Step PlanJuly 27, 2021 – EAS Issue of the Month
Herrick's General Counsel, Ronald J. Levine, published an article about managing risk against legal actions concerning food labels. He empathized with food manufacturers facing legal action, writing, "I have found that executives facing their first class-action case often go through the five stages of grief — which has been associated with grieving after a loved one passes away. Companies that get sued experience a similar pattern of grief, including denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Often, the final stage of acceptance involves a settlement and some payment."
He advised food companies to "get past the anger" and instead take steps to stay on top of food regulations, not assume ambiguous terms will hold up in court, consider graphics, avoid overselling, and treat any controversy as an opportunity.
He concluded: "Earning a profit in the food industry is tough enough without having to deal with litigation costs. Death and taxes may be inevitable, but companies can avoid litigation by following these five points when designing a label and promoting a product."