More than a dozen companies have filed lawsuits against some of the biggest players in the soy-supply industry, claiming they have no legal standing to sue because they aren’t the ones who manufacture the products.
“The complaint against Monsanto and other defendants in this case states that they have not been able to manufacture, distribute, or sell the products they allege are derived from the prostate-cancer-caused protein known as prostate soy,” the complaint says.
The companies include DuPont, which made a major splash in the health-care industry with the release of a new line of baby bottles with the slogan “A safe, affordable alternative to prostate- and breast-cancer medicines.”
The brand was named after the late DuPont executive William P. DuPont.
But DuPont did not respond to CBS News’ request for comment.
A spokesman for DuPont declined to comment on the lawsuit, saying the company does not comment on pending litigation.
The lawsuit against the companies alleges they knowingly and intentionally marketed their products with false claims of a higher prostate-quality than other prostate-protective products.
The suits say the products contain higher concentrations of the protein than those on the market today.
The complaint also alleges that the products were marketed without a disclaimer stating they are for health and safety reasons only and did not provide any warnings on the label or in the packaging.
“If the products did not warn consumers of the dangers of this substance, how could they be marketed?” said Mark Furlong, director of the Center for Food Safety at the Consumers Union, a consumer advocacy group.
“We’re very concerned about the safety of these products, and that they were not given warning labels.”
The lawsuits also seek to force the manufacturers of other products in the industry to remove the warning label from their products.
The Food and Drug Administration regulates the protein.
But the lawsuits argue that there’s no reason the company should be required to do so.
“They have no right to tell consumers that these products are for safety,” Furlink said.
“The FDA can do nothing about it.”
The companies involved are also asking the court to compel DuPont to remove any and all prostate-protection labels from its products, saying they should have been placed on the bottles.