FDA Empowers Plaintiffs’ Bar with Trans-Fat Ban

Following almost two years of deliberation, and notwithstanding a nearly 80 percent drop in the consumption of trans fats over the past decade (due in part to industry’s movement away from the use of partially hydrogenated oils), the FDA has made “a final determination that there is no longer a consensus among qualified experts that partially hydrogenated oils … are generally recognized as safe for any use in human food.” The plaintiffs’ class-action bar will attach itself to this measure like barnacles or pilot fish. Continue reading

Lawyers, Partially Hydrogenated Oils, and Money

Lawyers for class-action plaintiffs in the US often “piggyback” on the work of government regulators and prosecutors — swooping in to file class actions against the recipients of FDA warning letters or the targets of government enforcement proceedings. In some ways, they are to the administrative state what the pilot fish is to sharks. Not unlike the latter (in Melville’s words), they “lurk in the port of serrated teeth … and there find a haven when peril’s abroad … An asylum in jaws of the Fates!

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