Recent “All Natural” Misleading Label Lawsuits
Class action lawsuits against Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Inc. and Snapple Beverage Corporation are just a few recent examples of misleading food label lawsuits alleging that certain products are not actually “all natural.” The question of what ingredients are “natural” remains in controversy—Michael F. Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, has noted that the FDA “could do…a great service by actually defining when the word ‘natural’ can and cannot be used.”
Snapple “All Natural” Misleading Label Class Action Lawsuit
New Jersey consumers filed a false advertising lawsuit against Snapple in 2007 based on the company’s labeling of certain juices and teas as “all natural” and “made from the best stuff on Earth.” The consumers alleged the beverages actually contained high-fructose corn syrup, which they claim is not “natural,” and took issue with labels that depicted certain fruits that were not contained in the beverages. The parties agreed to end the lawsuit in 2010 without receiving a court ruling on the merits of the case.
Ben & Jerry’s “All Natural” Misleading Label Class Action
In September 2010, consumers filed a lawsuit against Ben & Jerry’s alleging the company used misleading labels on some of its ice cream. The consumers alleged that ice cream containing “Dutch” or “alkalized” cocoa is not actually “all natural,” since it’s processed with potassium carbonate, an ingredient alleged to be synthetic. In May 2011, the court denied a motion to dismiss the case, allowing the case to proceed.
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