Thanksgiving For Lawyers – Ammo For Food Law Suits

Document Trove Shows Food Companies Adopted Tobacco Industry Fraud Tactics which could lead to big law suits

WASHINGTON, D.C.  (November 21, 2017) –  A treasure trove of new documents linking major food companies to the tobacco industry, and showing how they used some of the same fraudulent tactics which led to over $250 billion in legal liability for cigarette companies, has been uncovered.

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This new ammunition could open the door not only to many individual and class action law suits against major food and food-ingredient companies, but also to suits by the states like those which led to the $246 billion multi-state tobacco settlement, says public interest law professor John Banzhaf.

Prof. Banzhaf has been dubbed "a Driving Force Behind the Lawsuits That Have Cost Tobacco Companies Billions of Dollars," and "The Law Professor Who Masterminded Litigation Against the Tobacco Industry."

He also started a new legal movement to fight obesity by suing food companies, for which he has been called the lawyer "Who's Leading the Battle Against Big Fat," and "a Major Crusader Against Big Tobacco and Now Among Those Targeting the Food Industry."

One of the newly revealed documents shows that a sugar association executive used his skills to spin medical research about the harmful health effects of sugar.

He was reportedly so successful that he was later employed by a tobacco company to likewise hide the dangers of smoking from the public.

This is the kind of activity and evidence which inflamed juries trying cases brought against cigarette manufacturers, and may well do the same in legal actions the documents could make possible regarding sugar, among other foods, argues Banzhaf.

A related document, which likewise demonstrates the same kind of coverup which opened tobacco companies up to massive legal liability, shows how the sugar industry refused to make public its research showing that sugar might cause elevated levels of deadly triglycerides, and also an enzyme linked to bladder cancer.

Had this and other deliberately suppressed information been made available at the time, it might well have led to action by the Food and Drug Administration [FDA] and/or by many legislators, he suggests.

Interestingly, the documents show that the same people and tactics used by the tobacco industry to develop cartoon characters such as Joe Camel, which was so successful in luring millions of kids to try smoking, were also used to create similar - and similarly successful - cartoon characters to entice youngsters to consume massive amounts of unhealthy sugar-laden beverages.

Several experts who has seen the documents have noted their remarkable similarly to those which led to massive litigation against cigarette manufacturers, and speculated that they might even lead to multi-billion dollar law suits brought by states like those which led to the largest legal settlement in history.  @profbanzhaf