On May 25, 2021, the Commercial Court of Paris ordered YUKA to compensate the FICT (Federation of French charcuterie and catering companies) on the basis of denigration and unfair and misleading commercial practices.
The application used as a criterion for assessing the quality of charcuterie the presence of certain additives on the pretext that these additives would be carcinogenic and would promote the onset of blood diseases. However, this consideration has not been established with certainty for the Court of First Instance.
Disparagement and unfair and misleading commercial practices are characterized by the Commercial Court with regard to the same criteria, namely:
- The determination of a double impact on customer behavior:
- Dissuasion from buying certain products for personal health purposes;
- Incitement to collective arbitration as a means of pressure aimed at prohibiting the sale of certain products;
- The impossibility of the denigrated person to be able to respond on the same media with the same means to the disputed allegations;
- The existence of an insufficient factual basis of objective observations with regard to the allegations in question.
It is worth pointing out that the Court holds that YUKA's freedom of expression is not sufficient to justify the infringement of FICT's freedom to exercise a lawful economic activity.