Blog: Katy AskewConAgra fined for... lead in paint?

Katy Askew | 17 December 2013

ConAgra Foods has been ordered to contribute to a damages payment totalling US$1.1bn to replace lead paint in millions of homes in California.

The link between ConAgra, which is best known for grocery brands including Healthy Choice and Chef Boyardee, and the use of lead paint in construction might seem tenuous at first. Certainly ConAgra believes so.

"ConAgra Foods vehemently disagrees with the decision," the company vented in a statement to the press. "ConAgra Foods is absolutely not an appropriate defendant and was never in the paint business. As a food maker who employs thousands of people in California, we believe this case is an unfortunate example of extreme overreach."

However, Superior Court Judge James Kleinberg would beg to differ.

According to his assessment, ConAgra assumed the liabilities of paint manufacturer W.P. Fuller & Co. when it acquired Beatrice Company and its former subsidiaries in 1991. As such, the company was ordered to pay damages along side two other defendants - Sherwin-Williams Co. and NL Industries Inc.

In a statement to the stock exchange filed before the California ruling, ConAgra revealed it has faced various litigation and environmental proceedings related to businesses "divested by Beatrice prior to its acquisition by us", including W.P. Fuller. In similar proceedings, the company saw favourable decisions in Rhode Island, New Jersey, Wisconsin and Ohio.

ConAgra said it would appeal the California ruling.

BLOG

Danone closes WhiteWave, who will acquire Stonyfield?

Danone completed its US$12.5bn acquisition of WhiteWave Foods this week. The move will roughly double Danone's presence in North America, where WhiteWave is a top four dairy player. ...

BLOG

Premier Foods pension news offers cheer but challenges remain

Premier Foods plc revealed today (28 March) it has secured a deal with its pension scheme trustees that will see the UK food maker reduce its pension burden....

BLOG

Another reshuffling of pack at Hain Celestial

Hain Celestial, under the scrutiny of the investment community in recent months and facing some challenges in its domestic market, has announced another shuffling of its management pack....

NEWS

Croatia's Podravka signs Qatar distribution deal

Croatian food business Podravka has struck a deal with Arabian Supplies for the Qatari distributor to handle its products in the country....

BLOG

FrieslandCampina looking to sell final non-dairy asset

FrieslandCampina, which today served up higher profits but lower sales for 2016, is ready to offload the last non-dairy business owned by the Dutch cooperative giant....

just-food homepage



Forgot your password?