A California federal court will allow to proceed a suit alleging that Kellogg’s breakfast cereals and bars are unhealthy because of excess added sugars, finding that the labeling and packaging of 24 named products “contain at least one statement that is not preempted, non-misleading or puffery as a matter of law.” Hadley v. Kellogg Sales Co., No. 16-4955 (N.D. Cal., entered August 10, 2017). The court rejected Kellogg’s argument that the company accurately disclosed the ingredients of its products and complied with U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) labeling guidelines..
The court also found that because FDA “expressly decided” not to set a level for sugar that would disqualify a product from making health or nutrient-content claims, any allegation that Kellogg’s product labeling was misleading because of a certain amount of added sugar was preempted by the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. However, the court refused to preempt a claim based on “No High Fructose Corn Syrup” labeling, reasoning that preemption did not apply because the representation related to the type of sugar in the product rather than the amount.