Are you aware of what the Food libel laws are and how they can control what you can say?
Today’s post is by Ryan Melowic; Sr. Director of Procurement Process Improvement at SafeSourcing.
Food libel laws are laws that were passed between 1991 and 1997 by thirteen U.S. states that permit food manufacturers to sue anyone for libel that say anything negative about the food they manufacturer. The thirteen states that have these laws are: Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Texas.
With Food libel laws, the legal standard for guilt is lower; therefore, to avoid being found guilty in this sort of civil liability suit, the defense employed must be stronger than even a criminal liability suit. In some states the burden of proof is on the party being sued. In addition, regardless of the outcome, punitive damages and attorney’s fees for plaintiffs are allowed.
With all the debate surrounding the foods we eat, it is important that you remember the Food libel laws when you share your stance. These laws are meant to sit on the books and discourage public speech by their mere presence; however, many would not pass constitutional scrutiny,
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We look forward to your comments.