Minn-Chem v. Agrium; Wesson Oil Marketing; Askin v. Quaker Oats

It has been a busy week for antitrust and consumer protection developments in the agriculture and food sectors.  We have compiled below three of these important developments not already covered in previous discussion lists. 

Minn-Chem, Inc. v. Agrium Inc.  On October 7, 2011, Plaintiffs-Appellees filed a petition in the Seventh Circuit for rehearing en banc of the panel’s 9/23/11 ruling that directed the district court to dismiss the Plaintiffs’ price-fixing complaint against leading international potash producers.

In re: Wesson Oil Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation.  On October 13, 2011, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation consolidated in the Central District of California pretrial proceedings of six actions against ConAgra Foods that challenge the labeling and marketing of Wesson Oils as “100% Natural” when the oils purportedly contain genetically modified plants or organisms.

Askin v. Quaker Oats (N.D. Ill.). On October 12, 2011, the district court entered a memorandum opinion and order denying Quaker’s motion to dismiss the putative class action complaint alleging that Quaker “lures consumers into buying its oatmeal and granola products by touting them as being among other things ‘wholesome’ and ‘heart healthy,’ when in reality the products contain unhealthy trans fats.”

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