According to Hank Campbell, writing for Science 2.0, lawyers who made their fortunes suing cigarette manufacturers are now prepared to replace “Big Tobacco” with “Big Food.” “Not because they have done anything wrong, but rather because we live in a culture where a dizzying cross-section of people assume anyone working for a corporation must be unethical. And creating nuisance laws that make it possible to sue over labels without actually having any evidence of harm are a dream for litigation attorneys,” says Campbell. He suggests that the passage in California of Proposition 37 (Prop. 37), which will require foods containing genetically modified ingredients to be labeled as such, will create a goldmine for plaintiffs’ lawyers.
The article discusses attorney Don Barrett, “who forced a settlement that cost tobacco companies more than $200 billion.” Barrett contends that money is not motivating him to target food manufacturers. “I’m 68 years old, frankly I don’t need the cash, the law’s been good to me,” Barrett reportedly said. “This is my job, but here we have an opportunity to really help people.” Campbell opines, “So he is going to make food more expensive for the poorest.” He also notes that Barrett intends to sue food companies even if voters do not approve Prop. 37. “[H]is tactics will be the same the lawyers like him have always used—if you can’t prove your food is ‘healthy,’ you will have to cut him a check.” See Science20.com, November 1, 2012.