A California state senator recently contacted the U.S. Department of Agriculture to raise concerns over the use of a food additive named transglutaminase or “meat glue.” State senator Ted W. Lieu contends that the use of “meat glue” results in higher rates of food contamination and makes it more difficult to trace a food borne illness back to its source. The USDA not only regulates the use of “meat glue,” but it has also concluded that the product is safe. State senator Lieu’s concerns center around the alleged danger caused by the hybrid meat products created as a result of using “meat glue.”
The take away from state senator’s Lieu’s letter to the USDA is clear. A company cannot avoid scrutiny and potentially lawsuits by simply complying with and following federal regulations. In fact, a well known attorney who specializes in food safety litigation, after state senator Lieu sent the above letter to the USDA, publicly commented on the alleged dangers posed by eating products fused together with “meat glue.” The letter, along with the attorney’s subsequent public comments on the issue, underscore the fact that federal regulations, in many instances, should be viewed as the floor rather than the ceiling for a company’s quality control and safety requirements. In the litigious environment we live in, acting in accordance with federally established standards or regulations may not be enough to insulate a company from a lawsuit and possible liability.
For more information, please contact any member of Goldberg Segalla’s Global Insurance Services Practice Group.