Perkins Coie’s Food Litigation 2019 Year in Review assessed key legal issues facing the food and beverage industry. Among these topics was cannabis, and especially hemp-derived CBD, in food and beverage products. The 2018 Farm Bill ushered in a new era for cannabis and cannabidiol (CBD). Following the law’s passage, products containing CBD have continued to proliferate throughout the country. In late 2019, the FDA revised its Consumer Update concerning products containing CBD, particularly food and drink items. Per the FDA, “It is currently illegal to market CBD by adding it to a food or labeling it as a dietary supplement.” The FDA also issued more than a dozen warning letters to manufacturers of CBD products.

Numerous class action lawsuits were launched against CBD product manufacturers in the wake of state and federal action surrounding CBD. As one article put it, “The CBD lawsuit floodgates are opening.”

Please see the full Food Litigation 2019 Year in Review report for more detail about cannabis.

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Photo of David T. Biderman David T. Biderman

David Biderman, a partner in Perkins Coie’s San Francisco and Los Angeles offices, focuses his practice on mass tort litigation and consumer class actions. He heads the firm’s Mass Tort and Consumer Litigation group. He has represented a wide variety of companies in…

David Biderman, a partner in Perkins Coie’s San Francisco and Los Angeles offices, focuses his practice on mass tort litigation and consumer class actions. He heads the firm’s Mass Tort and Consumer Litigation group. He has represented a wide variety of companies in state and federal courts in California for 30 years.

On consumer class actions, David represents packaged food companies, coffee companies, dairy companies, footwear companies and others whose nutritional or health claims have been challenged. He also has represented search engines and other online companies. He has a record of favorable results for clients. He successfully tried a major consumer fraud class action on behalf of one of the world’s major search engines in a case involving online gambling advertisements. For that same client, he negotiated a favorable settlement of a class action challenging its online advertising pricing. He represented a major coffee retailer in defeating a class action on standing grounds. He also has litigated pre-emption defenses arising out of food labeling and obtained a dismissal for a client whose nutritional statements were challenged.

For fifteen years, David managed the firm’s full-service product liability team responsible for defending over 1,000 toxic tort cases pending in Los Angeles and Northern California state courts. These cases entailed ongoing trial activity at various levels for several trials set each month. The highly experienced and well-coordinated team has handled thousands of asbestos toxic tort cases for a variety of clients, including FORTUNE 500 companies from such industries as consumer products, aerospace manufacturing, household goods, dry cleaning and industries that generate electromagnetic fields, such as electric utilities and operators of wireless communications systems.

Photo of Gina LaMonica Gina LaMonica

Gina LaMonica is a partner in the firm’s White Collar & Investigations practice group. She has extensive experience representing companies and individuals in a wide range of white collar criminal matters, as well as complex securities and civil litigation.

Gina has represented clients…

Gina LaMonica is a partner in the firm’s White Collar & Investigations practice group. She has extensive experience representing companies and individuals in a wide range of white collar criminal matters, as well as complex securities and civil litigation.

Gina has represented clients across a variety of industries in enforcement matters pending before the Department of Justice (DOJ), Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the Office of the Comptroller of Currency (OCC) and various State Attorney General actions. She counsels clients responding to allegations of financial fraud, accounting misstatements, securities fraud, insider trading, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations and government contract fraud.