Kraft Foods in Trouble
In May 2003, Kraft Foods, the number one food company in the US and the world's second largest food company, saw one of its most popular products under attack. A lawsuit filed against the company claimed that its Oreo cookies contained trans fatty acids.3 The lawsuit alleged that Kraft Foods used hydrogenated vegetable oil in these cookies, which was detrimental to the health of consumers in the long run. Citing the possible health hazards, the lawsuit demanded a ban on the marketing and selling of Oreo cookies to children in California. Stephen Joseph (Joseph), the lawyer who filed the lawsuit in the general public's interest, also claimed that Kraft Foods did not even list the amount of trans fatty acids present in Oreo cookies on its pack. However, Kraft Foods had a different version of the story. Vice-President (Corporate Affairs) Michael Mudd (Mudd) said that the company had approached the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) twice regarding permission for the inclusion of details about fats that were often connected with high cholesterol, diabetes and heart disease, on its products' labels.
| However, the FDA had not yet passed any such ruling and hence, the company was waiting for the same in May 2003. With criticism against junk/fast/snack food companies for jeopardizing consumers' health at an all time high in the US, the lawsuit was indeed unsettling for Kraft Foods. KRAFT FOODS INC.
Kraft Foods Inc., incorporated in 2000, is a leading manufacturer and marketer of packaged food products. Leading global tobacco giant Altria, formerly known as Philip Morris, owns 84% of Kraft Foods. The company in its 21st century form has been formed by the integration of many popular food brands and companies, some of them dating back to the mid-1700s (Refer Exhibit I for a brief history of Kraft Foods). In the early 21st century, Kraft Foods was the second leading food and beverage company in the world (behind the Swiss FMCG...
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