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Sunflower Seed Lawsuit Against ConAgra Can Proceed, Court Says


SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 20 (Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court on Thursday revived a lawsuit against ConAgra Foods Inc over the amount of sodium the company discloses on sunflower seed packages.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco found that federal law does not preempt claims that the sodium content of edible coating on sunflower seed shells must be disclosed in the nutritional labeling.

The case is one of a growing number of lawsuits against food manufacturers over their marketing practices.

Representatives for ConAgra or the plaintiff could not immediately be reached for comment on the ruling.

Lawyers for a purchaser of ConAgra's David Sunflower Seeds filed the proposed class-action lawsuit in a Los Angeles federal court. They claimed the nutritional information misrepresents the sodium content of the seeds by focusing exclusively on the kernels, according to court documents.

However, since consumers place the entire seed in their mouths before eating the kernel and spitting out the shell, ConAgra should disclose the sodium in both, the 2012 lawsuit said.