A recent dog food case highlights Made in the USA class action risks for San Diego and Southern California businesses. The class action against a California manufacturer of dog and cat treats was filed last year in the Eastern District of California. The lawsuit alleged that the pet treats were not Made in the USA as “at least some of the ingredients used to make (the treats are) produced outside the United States. The lawsuit questioned the origin of tapioca, vitamins, minerals and amino acid packs used in the manufacture of the treats. The lawsuit alleged violations of California’s Unfair Competition law and the Consumer Legal Remedies Act. The same plaintiff filed a similar suit against Tyson Foods alleging similar disputes.
The core issue in the case is the amount of “components” in any product that can be incorporated into the final offering containing the claim of “Made in the USA.” The California “Made in the USA” laws were recently relaxed due to the exponential increase of these cases and the threat to California manufactures associated with Made in the USA class action risks and costs. These changes were also necessary due to the high number of cases clogging California Courts. Generally speaking, the new law permits “Made in the USA” labeling if the final assembly occurs in the United States and the amount of “foreign content” in the product itself is considered to be “negligible.” The language is not exact and the best news for our class action defense clients is there is now a strong legal basis to mount a strong defense with the ultimate goal of seeking the outright dismissal of the case.
We invite you to review the recommendations of our clients and contact the experienced class action defense attorneys at the Watkins Firm or call 858-535-1511 for a free consultation. We will aggressively defend those accused of Made in the USA violations and take every possible step to prevent the certification of the class and resolve or seek dismissal of your case.