Unilever named in class action over falsely advertising Pure Leaf Iced Tea as all natural

Unilever

The complaint alleges that Unilever deceptively informed and led its customers to believe that its Pure Leaf Iced Tea, sold in a variety of flavors, is “All Natural,” despite containing unnatural ingredients, which are synthetic, artificial, and/or genetically modified, including but not limited to Citric Acid and/or “Natural Flavor.”

Complaint

Herr Foods named in a class action lawsuit over misleadingly labeling products as all natural

herrs_0

The class action is brought on behalf a nationwide class of consumers who purchased one or more of the following: Herr’s Popped Chips (All Natural with Sea Salt, Sour Cream & Onion, Tangy Barbeque), Herr’s “All Natural” Tortilla Chips, Herr’s All Natural Sourdough Pretzels, Herr’s All Natural Potato Chips (Sea Salt, Russet, Ripples, Crisp n’ Tasty, Lattice Cut), and Herr’s Potato Chips (Sour Cream & Onion, Salt n’ Vinegar) (collectively, the “Misbranded Products”).

As alleged, the Misbranded Products are postured to appeal to consumers like Plaintiff who prefer to consume natural products that do not contain artificial, synthetic, highly processed ingredients, color additives or chemical preservatives. The Misbranded Products are marketed as containing “No Preservatives” and “No MSO” and, on certain packages, as being “All Natural.”

Furthermore, some of the Misbranded Products claim to have “No Trans Fat.” These claims are made on the front of the product labels of the Misbranded Products and on Herr’s website.

As further alleged, these representations are false and deceptive to consumers, who rely on them to make their purchases. In fact, the Misbranded Products are not natural because they contain a host of synthetic, artificial, and highly processed ingredients, chemical preservatives, artificial coloring or flavoring, and genetically modified (OM) material. Moreover, many of the Misbranded Products purporting to be healthy actually contain high levels of fat that disqualify Defendant from making that claim.

 

The FTC on Super (un)natural product claims

In a recent post by Seena Gressin, Attorney, Division of Consumer & Business Education, we get a glimpse of the FTC’s view of “natural”

For lovers of word-association games: what words leap to mind when you think of “all natural” ingredients?

Did you pick “Dimethicone,” “Phenoxyethanol,” or “Polyethylene”? Perhaps “Butyloctyl alicylate,” “Polyquaternium-37,” or “Neopentyl Glycol Diethylhexanoate”? No? Well, not to worry — you haven’t lost the game. But five companies that tagged products that contained one or more of these ingredients as “all natural” or “100% natural” are now rethinking their strategy.

The FTC alleged the companies misrepresented their personal care products — including sunscreens, moisturizers, shampoos, conditioners, and shower gels — by describing them as “all natural” or “100% natural” when they contained one or more synthetic ingredients.

According to the FTC, the claims showed up in product names, such as “All Natural Hand and Body Lotion,” sold under the trade name ShiKai by Trans-India Products, Inc., of Santa Rosa, Calif., and “Coconut Shea All Natural Styling Elixir,” sold under the trade name EDEN BodyWorks by ABS Consumer Products, LLC, of Memphis, Tenn.

The FTC said the claims also showed up in product ads. For example, The Erickson Marketing Group Inc., of Arvada, Colo., which uses the trade name Rocky Mountain Sunscreen, and California Naturel, Inc., of Sausalito, Calif., both advertised their sunscreens as “all natural,” while Beyond Coastal, of Salt Lake City, touted its sunscreen as “100% natural.”

Four of the companies have agreed to proposed orders that would prohibit them from claiming that any product is 100% natural unless they have reliable evidence to back up the claim. The orders also would require them to have proof for any claims they make about the products’ environmental or health benefits. The Commission issued a complaint against the fifth company, California Naturel, seeking the same relief.

How can you avoid being burned by misleading “all natural” claims for sunscreen and other products? Take the claims with a non-synthetic grain of salt, check out the ingredients list on the package, and please visit our website for information about shopping for products that claim to have health or beauty benefits.

 

According to the FTC, each of the following companies made the all-natural claim in online ads:

  • Trans-India Products, Inc., doing business as ShiKai, based in Santa Rosa, California, markets “All Natural Hand and Body Lotion” and “All Natural Moisturizing Gel” both directly and through third-party websites including walgreens.com and vitacoast.com. The lotion contains Dimethicone, Ethyhexyl Glycerin, and Phenoxyethanol. The gel contains Phenoxyethanol.
  • Erickson Marketing Group, doing business as Rocky Mountain Sunscreen, based in Aravada, Colorado, uses its website to promote “all natural” products such as the “Natural Face Stick,” which contains Dimethicone, Polyethylene, and other synthetic ingredients.
  • ABS Consumer Products, LLC, doing business as EDEN BodyWorks, based in Memphis, Tennessee, markets haircare products on its own websites and at Walmart.com. It makes “all natural” claims for products including “Coconut Shea All Natural Styling Elixer” and “Jojoba Monoi All Natural Shampoo.” In reality, the products contain a range of synthetic ingredients such as Polyquaternium-37, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, and Polyquaternium-7.
  • Beyond Coastal, based in Salt Lake City, Utah, uses its website to sell its “Natural Sunscreen SPF 30,” describing it as “100% natural.” However, it also contains Dimethicone.
  • California Naturel, Inc., located in Sausalito, California, sells supposedly “all natural sunscreen” on its website, though the product contains Dimethicone. The Commission has issued a complaint alleging that California Naturel has made deceptive “all natural” claims in violation of Sections 5 and 12 of the FTC Act.

The proposed consent orders bar the four settling respondents from misrepresenting the following when advertising, promoting, or selling a product: 1) whether the product is all natural or 100 percent natural; 2) the extent to which the product contains any natural or synthetic components; 3) the ingredients or composition of a product; and 4) the environmental or health benefits of a product.

The orders require the respondents to have and rely on competent and reliable evidence to support any product claims they make. Some claims require scientific evidence, which is defined as tests, analyses, research, or studies that have been conducted and evaluated objectively by qualified individuals using procedures generally accepted in the profession to yield accurate and reliable results.

More information can be found at the FTC website. https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/super-unnatural-product-claims?utm_source=govdelivery

Do you use a product that claims to be all natural, but isn’t? Share with your fellow readers or contact us to take action.

 

Unilever & Pepsico named in class action lawsuit over false and captive advertisement of Pure Leaf Iced Tea product.

Pure Leaf large

 

According to the complaint, Defendants have unlawfully, negligently, unfairly, misleadingly, and deceptively represented that its Pure Leaf Iced Tea, sold in a variety of flavors, is “All Natural,” despite containing unnatural ingredients, which are synthetic, artificial, and/or genetically modified, including but not limited to Citric Acid and/or “Natural Flavor.”

Contrary to Defendants’ representations that the Products are “All Natural,” they contain ingredients, without limitation, such as Citric Acid and/or “Natural Flavor,” which are unnatural due to being synthetic, artificial, and/or genetically modified. The presence of these ingredients in the Products causes the Products to not be “All Natural.”

Plaintiff seeks to certify a class consisting of all persons who purchased the Products within the State of Florida, for personal use and not resale, during the time-period extending from April 29, 2011 to the present.

 

YZ Enterprises named in class action lawsuit for labeling products all natural despite containing known synthetic ingredients

This class action arises out of Defendant YZ Enterprise’s deceptive marketing of its Almondina Toastees. The product’s label  represents that it is “All Natural” despite the fact it contains sodium acid pyrophosphate, a synthetic chemical that is used to remove iron stains in leather products, is used as an oil drilling fluid, and is used to de-feather poultry-and that the FDA has said has no place in purported “all natural” products.

Knowing that consumers like Plaintiff are more-and-more interested in purchasing healthy food products that do not contain potentially harmful synthetic ingredients, YZ Enterprises has sought to take advantage of this growing market by labeling certain products as “all natural.” By affixing such a label to the packaging of the product, Defendant is able to entice consumers like Plaintiff to pay a premium for supposed the “all natural” products.

 

Urban Accents named in class action lawsuit for labeling products all natural despite containing known synthetic ingredients

This case arises out of Defendant Urban Accents Inc.’s deceptive marketing of its Ginger Carrot Cake Flapjack Mix. The mix’s label prominently represents that it is “All Natural” despite the fact it contains sodium acid pyrophosphate, a synthetic chemical that is used to remove iron stains in leather products, is used as an oil drilling fluid, and is used to de-feather poultry-and that the FDA has said has no place in purported “all natural” products.

Knowing that consumers like Plaintiff are more-and-more interested in purchasing healthy food products that do not contain potentially harmful synthetic ingredients, Urban Accents has sought to take advantage of this growing market by labeling certain products as “all natural.” By affixing such a label to the packaging of the Mix, Defendant is able to entice consumers like Plaintiff to pay a premium for supposed the “all natural” products.


			

Trader Joe’s Settles Class Action Lawsuit Over Products Sold as “All Natural” and “100% Natural”

The class action lawsuit, claims that certain Trader Joe’s food products were improperly labeled, marketed, supplied, made and sold as being “all Natural” and/or 100% Natural” even though they contained one or more of the following allegedly synthetic ingredients:  ascorbic acid, cocoa processed with alkali, sodium acid pyrophosphate, xanthan gum, and vegetable mono- and diglycerides.

The settlement creates a restitution fund of $3,375,000. Under the settlement, a Settlement Class Member who timely submits a completed Claim Form is eligible to receive payment for up to ten (10) total purchases of any of the following products: Joe‐Joe’s Chocolate Vanilla Creme Cookies; Joe‐Joe’s Chocolate Sandwich Creme Cookies; Trader Joe’s Jumbo Cinnamon Rolls; Trader Joe’s Buttermilk Biscuits; Trader Giotto’s 100% Natural Fat Free Ricotta Cheese; and Trader Joe’s Fresh Pressed Apple Juice. Settlement Class Members with valid Proofs of Purchase (i.e., receipts or other documentation from a third-party commercial source reasonably establishing the fact and date of purchase during the Class Period of one or more of the Products, including bar codes or UPCs so long as the Product(s) claimed can be identified from the packaging submitted) may make additional claims for such Products.

Class Members are eligible to receive payments for up to 10 products without proof of purchase as follows:

Joe-Joe’s Chocolate Vanilla Creme Cookies                         $2.70

Joe-Joe’s Chocolate Sandwich Creme Cookies                    $2.70

Trader Joe’s Jumbo Cinnamon Rolls                                     $3.99

Trader Joe’s Buttermilk Biscuits                                             $2.93

Trader Giotto’s 100% Natural Fat Free Ricotta Cheese     $3.62

Trader Joe’s Fresh Pressed Apple Juice                                  $2.79

 

For more information on the action, or to complete a claim form on-line, visit

www.tjallnaturalclassaction.com

Hain Celestial Group named in class action over advertising teas as 100% natural despite containing various pesticides, herbicides, insecticides and carcinogens

This is a consumer protection and false advertising class action. The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. “Defendant”) markets, advertises, and distributes various teas under the Celestial Seasonings brand name, which it prominently advertises as “100% Natural.” The teas at issue are Sleepytime Herbal Tea, Sleepytime Kids Goodnight Grape, Green Tea Peach Blossom, Green Tea Raspberry Gardens, Authentic Green Tea, Antioxidant Max Dragon Fruit, Green Tea Honey Lemon Ginseng, Antioxidant Max Blackberry Pomegranate, Antioxidant Max Blood Orange, and English Breakfast Black KCup (collectively, the “Products”).

As alleged, these Products are not natural, but to the contrary contain pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, carcinogens, and/or developmental toxins (collectively, “Contaminants”). Many of the Products contain Contaminants in levels violating federal standards included in 40 CFR § 180, and some contain Contaminants included in the current Proposition 65 list for which no safe harbor limits have been established. In short, the Products contain potentially dangerous Contaminants and are most definitely not “100% Natural,” as claimed.

Although the Products are not “100% Natural,” Defendant prominently labels every box of the Products sold in the United States as “100% Natural.” Defendant does this because consumers perceive all natural foods as better, healthier, and more wholesome. In fact, the market for all natural foods has grown rapidly in recent years, a trend that Defendant exploits through its false advertising.

PepsiCo settles class action lawsuit over deceptive labeling of Naked Juice

This lawsuit claims that Naked Juice violated certain state and federal laws and consumer protection statutes in connection with the advertising, labeling, or marketing of its Products as “100% Juice,” “100% Fruit,” “From Concentrate,” “All Natural,” “All Natural Fruit,” “All Natural Fruit + Boosts,” or “Non-GMO” (or Non-Genetically Modified Organism).  The lawsuit claims that the Eligible Products (see below) contain ingredients that are not “All Natural” and contain GMOs (or Genetically Modified Organisms).

If the Settlement is approved and becomes final, it will provide benefits to Class Members. Naked Juice will pay $9,000,000 to a Settlement Fund to make payments to Class Members who file valid claims by submitting a Claim Form at www.NakedJuiceClass.com.

Class members are entitled to make claims up to $45.00 without proof of purchase.

 

The products include:

• AÇAÍ MACHINE (formerly known as PURPLE MACHINE and RAIN FOREST AÇAÍ)

• APPLE

• APPLE CRANBERRY

• BERRY BLAST (formerly known as BERRY BLAST WELL BEING)

• BERRY PROBIOTIC

• BERRY VEGGIE (formerly known as BERRY VEGGIE MACHINE)

• BLACK AND BLUEBERRY (formerly known as BLACK AND BLUEBERRY RUSH)

• BLUE MACHINE

• CARROT

• CHAI SPICED CIDER

• CHERRY POMEGRANATE (formerly known as CHERRY POMEGRANATE POWER)

• CITRUS LEMONGRASS (REDUCED CALORIE) (formerly known as CITRUS LEMONGRASS)

• GOLD MACHINE

• GREEN MACHINE

• LYCHEE (REDUCED CALORIE)

• MANGO VEGGIE

• MIGHTY MANGO (formerly known as MIGHTY MANGO WELL BEING)

• O-J

• ORANGE CARROT

• ORANGE MANGO (formerly known as ORANGE MANGO MOTION)

• ORGANIC CARROT

• PEACH GUAVA (REDUCED CALORIE)

• PEACH MANGOSTEEN (formerly known as PEACH MANGOSTEEN BLISS)

• POMEGRANATE (formerly known as PLENTIFUL POMEGRANATE)

• POMEGRANATE AÇAÍ

• POMEGRANATE BLUEBERRY

• POWER-C MACHINE (formerly known as POWER-C)

• PROBIOTIC TROPICAL MANGO

• PROTEIN ZONE

• PROTEIN ZONE BANANA CHOCOLATE

• PROTEIN ZONE DOUBLE BERRY

• PROTEIN ZONE MANGO

• RAZALICIOUS

• RED MACHINE

• STRAWBERRY BANANA (formerly known as STRAWBERRY BANANA C and STRAWBERRY

BANANA WELL BEING)

• STRAWBERRY KIWI (formerly known as STRAWBERRY KIWI KICK)

• TANGERINE SCREAM

• TROPICAL (REDUCED CALORIE) (formerly known as TROPICAL C and TROPICAL)

• WATERMELON CHILL

Court certifies class action lawsuit against Bear Naked and Kashi over products falsely advertised as “all natural” and “nothing artificial”

The actions were original brought on behalf of nationwide Classes of persons who purchased Kashi  and Bear Naked food products containing synthetic and/or artificial ingredients, including but not limited to one or more of the following: Ascorbic Acid, Calcium Pantothenate, Calcium Phosphates, Glycerin, Hexane-Processed Soy Ingredients, Potassium Bicarbonate, Potassium Carbonate (a/k/a Cocoa processed with Alkali), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Phosphates, Tocopherols, and Xanthan Gum.

Since at least 2007, Defendants have packaged, marketed, distributed and sold food products as being “All Natural” or “Nothing Artificial,” despite the fact the food products contain between one (1) and seven (7) of the aforementioned ingredients

After law and motion work, the Court certified the following classes:

All California residents who purchased Kashi Company’s food products on or after August 24, 2007 in the State of California that were labeled “Nothing Artificial” but which contained one or more of the following ingredients: Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Alpha-Tocopherol Acetate and/or Hexane-Processed Soy ingredients.

California “All Natural” Class: All California residents who purchased Kashi Company’s food products on or after August 24, 2007 in the State of California that were labeled “All Natural” but which contained one or more of the following ingredients: Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Calcium Pantothenate and/or Hexane-Processed Soy ingredients.

All California residents who purchased Bear Naked, Inc.’s food products on or after September 21, 2007 in the State of California that were labeled “100% Pure & Natural” or “100% Natural” but which contained Hexane- Processed Soy Ingredients. The Court excludes from the class anyone with a conflict of interest in this matter.

The Kashi/Bear Naked products include the following:

Kashi “All Natural” Class

Grain Waffles:

Berry Blossoms Cereal.

Blueberry Waffles

Caribbean Carnival Stone-Fired Thin Crust Pizza

Chicken Florentine Entrée

Chicken Pasta Pomodoro Entré

Cocoa Beach Granol

GOLEAN® Blueberry Waffles

GOLEAN® Chewy Chocolate Almond Toffee Protein & Fiber Bars

GOLEAN® Chewy Cookies ‘N Cream Protein & Fiber Bars

GOLEAN® Chewy Malted Chocolate Crisp Protein & Fiber Bars

GOLEAN® Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Protein & Fiber Bars

GOLEAN® Chewy Peanut Butter & Chocolate Protein & Fiber Bars

GOLEAN® Chocolate Malted Crisp Protein & Fiber Bars: Glycerin

GOLEAN® Chocolate Shake

GOLEAN® Creamy Instant Hot Cereal Truly Vanilla

GOLEAN® Crisp! Toasted Berry Crumble Cereal

GOLEAN® Crunch! Honey Almond Flax Cereal

GOLEAN® Crunchy! Chocolate Almond Protein & Fiber Bars

GOLEAN® Crunchy! Chocolate Caramel Protein & Fiber Bars

GOLEAN® Crunchy! Chocolate Peanut Protein & Fiber Bars

GOLEAN® Crunchy! Chocolate Pretzel Protein & Fiber Bars

GOLEAN® Crunchy! Cinnamon Coffee Cake Protein & Fiber Bars

GOLEAN® Hearty Instant Hot Cereal with Clusters Honey & Cinnamon

GOLEAN® Oatmeal Raisin Protein & Fiber Bars

GOLEAN® Original 7 Grain Waffles

GOLEAN® Peanut Butter & Chocolate Protein & Fiber Bars

GOLEAN® Roll! Caramel Peanut Protein & Fiber Bars

GOLEAN® Roll! Chocolate Peanut Protein & Fiber Bars

GOLEAN® Roll! Chocolate Turtle Protein & Fiber Bars

GOLEAN® Roll! Fudge Sundae Protein & Fiber Bars

GOLEAN® Roll! Oatmeal Walnut Protein & Fiber Bars

GOLEAN® Strawberry Flax Waffles

GOLEAN® Vanilla Shake Mix

Honey Sunshine Cereal

Lemongrass Coconut Chicken Entrée

Mayan Harvest Bake Entrée

Mountain Medley Granola

Pesto Pasta Primavera Entrée

Southwest Style Chicken Entrée

Spicy Black Bean Enchilada Entrée

Summer Berry Granola

TLC Baked Apple Spice Soft-Baked Cereal Bars

TLC Blackberry Graham Soft-Baked Cereal Bars

TLC Cherry Dark Chocolate Chewy Granola Bars

TLC Cherry Vanilla Soft-Baked Cereal Bars

TLC Country Cheddar Cheese Crackers

TLC Cranberry Walnut Fruit & Grain Bars

TLC Dark Chocolate Coconut Fruit & Grain Bars

Dark Chocolate Coconut Layered Granola Bar

TLC Dark Mocha Almond Chewy Granola Bars

TLC Happy Trail Mix Chewy Cookies

TLC Honey Almond Flax Chewy Granola Bars

TLC Honey Sesame Snack Crackers

TLC Honey Toasted 7 Grain Crunchy Granola Bars

TLC Oatmeal Dark Chocolate Chewy Cookies

TLC Oatmeal Raisin Flax Chewy Cookies

TLC Original 7 Grain With Sea Salt Pita Crisps

TLC Peanut Peanut Butter Chewy Granola Bars

TLC Peanutty Dark Chocolate Layered Granola Bars

TLC Pumpkin Pecan Fruit & Grain Bars

TLC Pumpkin Pecan Layered Granola Bars

TLC Pumpkin Pie Fruit & Grain Bars

TLC Pumpkin Spice Flax Crunchy Granola Bars

TLC Raspberry Chocolate Fruit & Grain Bars

TLC Ripe Strawberry Soft-Baked Cereal Bars

TLC Roasted Almond Crunch Crunchy Granola Bars

TLC Trail Mix Chewy Granola Bars

TLC Zesty Salsa Pita Crisps

Tuscan Veggie Bake Entrée

 

Kashi Nothing Artificial Class

Heart to Heart Honey Oat Waffles

Heart to Heart Honey Toasted Oat Cereal

Heart to Heart Instant Oatmeal Apple Cinnamon

Heart to Heart Instant Oatmeal Golden Maple

Heart to Heart Instant Oatmeal Raisin Spice

Heart to Heart Oat Flakes & Blueberry Clusters Cereal

Heart to Heart Oat Flakes & Wild Blueberry Clusters Cereal

Heart to Heart Roasted Garlic Whole Grain Crackers

Heart to Heart Warm Cinnamon Oat Cereal

Heart to Heart Original Whole Grain Crackers

 

Bear Naked All Natural Class

Bear Naked Heavenly Chocolate Granola:

Bear Naked Peak Protein Original Granola:

Bear Naked Peak Energy Cranberry Almond Trail Mix:

Bear Naked Peak Energy Chocolate Cherry Trail Mix:

Bear Naked Soft-Baked Fruit & Nut Granola Cookies

Bear Naked Soft-Baked Double Chocolate Granola Cookie:

 

The certification was on behalf of a California class leaving consumers in other states unaffected by the ruling.  If you are a non-California resident that purchased one of the above items and would like to know more about your legal rights in this matter, please contact us directly using the inquiry box below.