Fighting it out in the food court...
Food Vision USA kicked off with a very lively debate about the merits - or otherwise - of food labeling related class action lawsuits, with Steve Gardner from Stanley Law Group (left) arguing for the prosecution and David Biderman from Perkins Coie (right) for the defense.
The gloves came off pretty early in the 60-minute session, with Biderman arguing that the vast majority of the cases were money-making exercises, and that aggrieved consumers are not really the driving force behind all this civil litigation, with most plaintiffs instead cynically sought out and co-opted by opportunistic attorneys.
Gardner, meanwhile, said consumers were sick of being duped by food companies peddling their products as healthy and natural when a closer inspection of the ingredients list suggested they were anything but, and said the threat of consumer litigation was the only thing that was keeping many food companies in check given that the federal government appeared to have other priorities.
"Litigation is not the best form of regulation, but it's the least worst option."