August 2, 2013
Authored by: Brandon Neuschafer
PepsiCo has agreed to settle a class action lawsuit brought in 2011 related to labeling of certain Naked Juice products as “all natural.” The litigation alleged that the use of certain synthetic ingredients, including a synthetic fiber, were false and misleading in light of the “all natural” claim. The ingredients at issue included zinc oxide, ascorbic acid, and calcium pantothenate. PepsiCo agreed to pay $9 million to settle the lawsuit, and also to remove the “all natural” claim from its Naked Juice products. Plaintiffs also claim that Naked Juice contains GMO ingredients despite labeling indicating the products are GMO-free, an allegation that PepsiCo denies. Nonetheless, PepsiCo has announced an intention to seek third party certification of the non-GMO status of Naked Juice product bearing the GMO-free claim.
This suit against PepsiCo is one of dozens of pending lawsuits against food companies for using “natural” or “all natural” claims where their products allegedly contain synthetic or artificial ingredients or GMO-based ingredients. We’ll work to keep you posted on new suits, new settlements and new theories of liability.