The plaintiffs' claim in Lockwood v. Conagra Foods, Inc., ___ F.Supp.2d ___, 2009 WL 250459 (N.D. Cal. Feb. 3, 2009) is that "defendant engages in misleading conduct by advertising its 'Healthy Choice' pasta sauce as 'all natural' when in fact it includes 'high fructose corn syrup.'" Id. at *1. Judge Charles R. Bryer determined that neither the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act nor FDA regulations under the Federal Food and Drug Cosmetic Act preempted this claim. Id. at *1-*6. He also refused to strike the class allegations:
Finally, defendant seeks to strike the class allegations on the ground that a class cannot be certified as a matter of law. Specifically, defendant alleges that each class member must prove reliance on the “all natural” representation and therefore individual questions necessarily predominate.
If a misrepresentation is material an inference of class-wide reliance may be inferred. Mass. Mut. Li[f]e Ins. Co. v. Superior Court, 97 Cal.App.4th 1282, 1292, 119 Cal.Rptr.2d 190 (Cal.App.2002). The Court cannot determine on the pleadings whether a class-wide inference is appropriate in this case. Accordingly, defendant's motion to strike the class allegations is denied without prejudice to the Court considering the issue on a fully-briefed and supported motion concerning class certification.
Id. at *6.