Important alcohol law preemption case headed for decision as appeal of grains of paradise lawsuit against distiller for use of state banned, but federally allowed, ingredient nears end of briefing. Bonus: we’ve got the briefs for you.

An appeal of a ruling in favor of a distiller against a consumer claiming an antiquated state food purity law trumped the TTB’s acceptance of FDA generally recognized as safe (GRAS) regulations may provide some much needed guidance for brewers, distillers, and vintners worried about state laws and standards regarding the production of beer, spirits and wine that prohibit activities allowed by Federal law or regulation.

The appeal involves a recent preemption win that Bacardi had when a consumer brought suit against Bacardi based on a 150-year-old law on Florida’s books regarding some compounds and ingredients that, prior to decent Federal regulation and at a time when little was known about such compounds, declared different substances, including grains of paradise, adulterants and banned their use in liquor. 

A federal district court in Florida ruled for Bacardi finding that the FDA’s GRAS regulations preempt the Florida law and that the 21st Amendment does not save the Florida law simply because the product at issues is alcohol.

You can read our discussion of Bacardi’s win and find a link to the Miami Herald’s excellent piece on the history of the law here. You can find our brief discussion of the case and find many of the initially filed briefs here.

The plaintiff has appealed the loss and the parties are in the process of briefing the matter – with the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The reply brief is due in early July.

Ashley Brandt

Hi there! I’m happy you’re here. My name is Ashley Brandt and I’m an attorney in Chicago representing clients in the Food and Beverage, Advertising, Media, and Real Estate industries. A while back I kept getting calls and questions from industry professionals and attorneys looking for advice and information on a fun and unique area of law that I’m lucky enough to practice in. These calls represented a serious lack of, and need for, some answers, news, and information on the legal aspects of marketing and media. I've got this deep seeded belief that information should be readily available and that the greatest benefit from the information age is open access to knowledge... so ... this blog seemed like the best way to accomplish that. I enjoy being an attorney and it’s given me some amazing opportunities, wonderful experiences, and an appreciation and love for this work. I live in Chicago and work at an exceptional law firm, Goldstein & McClintock, with some truly brilliant people. Feel free to contact me at any time with any issues, comments, concerns… frankly, after reading this far, I hope you take the time to at least let me know what you think about the blog and how I can make it a better resource.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: