KFC Sued Over Labeling of Trans-Fats
By Rick Moss
It is by no means the first lawsuit challenging fast-feeders’ on the safety of food ingredients but it promises to be a high-profile case with potential precedent-setting results.
A retired physician, Dr. Arthur Hoyte, supported by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, has filed suit against Yum! Brands, owners of KFC, for the use of trans fat
oils in the preparation of its famous fried chicken. According to The Courier-Journal of Louisville, Kentucky, the lawsuit claims that the fast food chain “violates Washington,
D.C.’s trade regulations by selling food that’s not fit for human consumption and not adequately labeled to reflect that.”
Furthermore, the suit alleging that KFC is violating federal consumer protection law by misrepresenting the healthfulness of their food offerings. Although the lawyer representing
the plaintiff acknowledges that the FDA has not outlawed the sale of partially hydrogenated cooking oils, “That doesn’t excuse KFC from warning about it and selling it,” said
attorney Richard D. Heidman.
KFC has issued statements calling the lawsuit frivolous and stands behind the safety of all of its products. Spokeswoman Laurie Schalow points to the fact that nutritional information
about its food is accessible via the company website and posted in brochures available in stores.
The plaintiff’s lawyers are seeking class-action status for the suit, intending to ask for damages, costs and a refund for consumers who have purchased KFC products containing
trans fats for a three year period.
Moderator’s Comment: Will anti-trans fats lawsuits become more than a nuisance to the restaurant and CPG industries? Will legal action accelerate decision-making
and product reformulation to see trans-fats greatly reduced in consumer foods? –
Rick Moss – Moderator