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Defendants Score a Stay in Cereal Class Action

Elizabeth DiNardo, Esq. | Associate Counsel

On June 13, 2016, Judge Kevin McNulty granted Defendant General Mills’ request for a stay in proceedings In re General Mills, Inc. Kix Cereal Litigation. Plaintiffs in the suit allege that General Mills purposefully misled consumers by labeling boxes of its Kix cereal as “all natural” when in fact the cereal was made with bioengineered corn. Kix boxes were labeled “all natural” from 2009 to 2013.

Defendants requested the stay so the FDA could sift through comments on whether the use of the word “natural” can be used to describe products made from bioengineered corn. The FDA began its solicitation of comments on the issue in November 2015 with the comment period closing on May 10, 2016. Defendants argued that the stay was necessary to avoid the court impeding on the authority of the FDA. However, plaintiffs argued that the stay was incorrect as the FDA made no indication that it would make a definite ruling on the meaning of “natural.” This is not the first time the litigation was stayed; it was previously stayed in November 2013 and reopened in January 2014 after the FDA declined to make a ruling on the definition of “natural.”

The stay on In re General Mills, Inc. Kix Cereal Litigation runs until October 11, 2016.

The case is: In re General Mills, Inc. Kix Cereal Litigation, Docket No. 0:15-mc- 00014

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