Preventing and Defending

OBESITY CLAIMS

Legal, Scientific and Regulatory Updates - Strategies for Reducing Your Exposure

Thursday, January 29, 2004

About

Once "far-fetched", obesity claims are now being called the "next tobacco". do you have an effective strategy in place?

According to a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) survey, 60% of adults and 13% of children in the United States are overweight or obese. In 2001, the U.S. Surgeon General called obesity the largest preventable epidemic. Studies are increasingly linking varying health problems to obesity…including increased risk for birth defects in children of mothers who are obese when pregnant, diabetes, cancer and heart disease. In fact, the CDC has predicted that one-third of children will contract obesity-related diabetes.

With health professionals and consumer advocates clamoring to be heard on this major health issue, the finger has been pointed squarely at the food industry, implicating food and beverage manufacturers, purveyors and advertisers. The allegations range from negligent marketing, to fraudulent and deceptive advertising, to knowing promotion of addictive products. In fact, there are frequent comparisons of the potential size and scope of this litigation to tobacco litigation.

It is clear that every company in the sights of this litigation needs to ensure it has a coherent and effective strategy to counter a multi-faceted plaintiff attack. It is not enough for defendants to claim that a choice of products was provided to plaintiff or that nutritional information was/is provided. In fact, it is clear that the defense of "obvious health risk" will not insulate a food producer/provider from exposure. Courts are allowing for the proposition that ordinary consumers may not understand what was once perceived as an "obvious health risk".

American Conference Institute has specifically designed the National Forum on Preventing and Defending Obesity Claims publication in order to provide product liability and advertising attorneys, and in-house counsel and senior marketers for food and beverage manufacturers and purveyors, with practical insights into the latest plaintiff initiatives, the most successful defense strategies, new and effective marketing techniques and a comprehensive update on the latest legislative proposals. An experienced and exceptional faculty of trial lawyers, legislators, nutritionists, epidemiologists and public relations specialists provided expert insights on:

  • Causation and obesity: what are the latest scientific theories?
  • How likely is it that "personal accountability" laws will pass?
  • What every in-house counsel must know about the new trans-fatty labeling requirements
  • Marketing strategies for a new era of consumer choice and product liability
  • The lessons of diet drug litigation
  • What the food industry needs to know: tools for success in the face of this litigation

Contents & Contributors

About

Once "far-fetched", obesity claims are now being called the "next tobacco". do you have an effective strategy in place?

According to a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) survey, 60% of adults and 13% of children in the United States are overweight or obese. In 2001, the U.S. Surgeon General called obesity the largest preventable epidemic. Studies are increasingly linking varying health problems to obesity…including increased risk for birth defects in children of mothers who are obese when pregnant, diabetes, cancer and heart disease. In fact, the CDC has predicted that one-third of children will contract obesity-related diabetes.

With health professionals and consumer advocates clamoring to be heard on this major health issue, the finger has been pointed squarely at the food industry, implicating food and beverage manufacturers, purveyors and advertisers. The allegations range from negligent marketing, to fraudulent and deceptive advertising, to knowing promotion of addictive products. In fact, there are frequent comparisons of the potential size and scope of this litigation to tobacco litigation.

It is clear that every company in the sights of this litigation needs to ensure it has a coherent and effective strategy to counter a multi-faceted plaintiff attack. It is not enough for defendants to claim that a choice of products was provided to plaintiff or that nutritional information was/is provided. In fact, it is clear that the defense of "obvious health risk" will not insulate a food producer/provider from exposure. Courts are allowing for the proposition that ordinary consumers may not understand what was once perceived as an "obvious health risk".

American Conference Institute has specifically designed the National Forum on Preventing and Defending Obesity Claims publication in order to provide product liability and advertising attorneys, and in-house counsel and senior marketers for food and beverage manufacturers and purveyors, with practical insights into the latest plaintiff initiatives, the most successful defense strategies, new and effective marketing techniques and a comprehensive update on the latest legislative proposals. An experienced and exceptional faculty of trial lawyers, legislators, nutritionists, epidemiologists and public relations specialists provided expert insights on:

  • Causation and obesity: what are the latest scientific theories?
  • How likely is it that "personal accountability" laws will pass?
  • What every in-house counsel must know about the new trans-fatty labeling requirements
  • Marketing strategies for a new era of consumer choice and product liability
  • The lessons of diet drug litigation
  • What the food industry needs to know: tools for success in the face of this litigation

Contents & Contributors

OBESITY: THEORIES OF CAUSATION
Ruth Kava, Ph.D., R.D., American Council on Science and Health

OBESITY: ALTERNATIVE CAUSATION
Joseph P. McMenamin, MD, JD, McGuire Woods LLP

LITIGATION UPDATE
Peter A. Cross, Jacob, Medinger & Finnegan, LLP

DO HEALTHIER DIETS COST MORE? OBESITY LAWSUITS AND THE ECONOMICS OF FOOD CHOICE
Adam Drewnowski, Ph.D., University of Washington

WHY LEGISLATIVE ACTION IS NEEDED TO CURB OBESITY LAWSUITS
Victor E. Schwartz, Shook, Hardy & Bacon, LLP

OBESITY: HOW FDA CAN BE PART OF THE SOLUTION
Marsha C. Wertzberger, Arent Fox Kintner Plotkin & Kohn, PLLC

MARKETING IN A NEW ENVIRONMENT
Karen Shichman Crawford, Buchanan Ingersoll

MARKETING IN A NEW ENVIRONMENT: PREVENTING AND DEFENDING OBESITY CLAIMS
Richard S. Silverman, Hogan & Hartson, L.L.P.

MARKETING IN A NEW ENVIRONMENT
Anne E. Cohen, Debevoise & Plimpton

DEVELOPING A COMMUNICATIONS STRATEGY ON THE OBESITY ISSUE
Catherine A. ("Kiki") McLean, Dewey Square Group

WEIGHT LOSS DRUG AND SUPPLEMENT LITIGATION
Alice S. Johnston, Buchanan Ingersoll

LIVING OFF THE FAT OF THE LAND
Joseph M. Price, Faegre & Benson LLP

THE SKINNY ON PROTECTIONS FOR OBESE EMPLOYEES
Peter J. Petesch, Ford & Harrison LLP

PRACTICAL STRATEGIES FOR PREEMPTING AND HANDLING OBESITY CLAIMS
Lori G. Cohen, Alston & Bird LLP
Laura C. Johnson, Alston & Bird LLP

UNDERSTANDING & IDENTIFYING PERCEPTIONS & BIASES: JUROR DESELECTION IN OBESITY LITIGATION
Merrie Jo Stallard, Ph.D., Litigation Insights, Inc.
Stephanie S. Cox, M.A., Litigation Insights, Inc.



DOCUMENT TYPES: PRESENTATIONS AVAILABLE: 0