Class Action Attorney Reviews Deceptive Marketing Lawsuits & False Advertising in the Food Industry for plaintiffs nationwide
The largest companies in America spend billions on in-depth advertising campaigns to market their products to consumers. Consumer advocates and consumer protection attorneys have long been questioning some marketing tactics, which can be perceived as false advertising, meant to mislead consumers about a particular product.
Many products are marketed to greatly assist the consumer and even to improve health, but in some cases, a product may have the opposite effect.
Several products may fall under the pretense of being advertised in a deceptive way. Federal and state laws protect the consumer against false advertising and deceptive marketing, but there is a lack of enforcement and much gray area. A deceptive advertising lawyer may be able to handle your case and may be part of a larger class action false advertising lawsuit.
Joe Lyon is an experienced class action attorney representing plaintiffs nationwide in false advertising and deceptive marketing lawsuits.
Types of Deceptive Marketing
Class action consumer protection lawsuits have been filed against a wide range of companies across several industries that aim to deceive American consumers. A successful false advertising claim may be filed by a plaintiffs and their deceptive advertising lawyer, and corporations can be held liable for their widespread deception. The Lyon Firm handles cases in the following practice areas:
- Supplement Mislabeling
- Deceptive Food Marketing
- Private Placement Fraud
- Dating Site Fraud
- False Drug Advertising
- Mortgage Fraud
Deceptive Food Marketing
American consumers are bombarded with advertisements each and every day, and should not be expected to filter the true and honest marketing from the deceptive campaigns. Food mislabeling has been a hot topic in recent years, and several lawsuits have been filed against large brands like Kellogg’s Cheez-It “whole grain” claims, and LaCroix water’s “all-natural” claims.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated that “natural” means “nothing artificial or synthetic, including all color additives.” Unfortunately, food companies are using terms like “organic” and “natural” in an irresponsible way, to sway consumers toward a product that is not exactly healthy.
In 2013, General Mills Inc. settled a lawsuit over their Fruit Roll-Ups snack food over allegations of deceptive food marketing. A California federal judge ruled against the food giant, stating the marketing claim “made with real fruit” incorrectly described the product.
This is only one example of food and beverage companies misleading consumers with unhealthy, and potentially damaging products. The top food and beverage companies in the United States, including the organic and natural food companies, spend billions of dollars each year in advertising, much of it full of untruths.
Mislabeled Food & Food False Advertising
The organic food industry in particular preys on the fear of consumers. Food marketing campaigns commonly use terms like the following:
• Farm fresh
• Naturally sweetened
But these words appear on the packaging of many processed, unhealthy foods. Some companies also pad ingredient lists with tiny amounts of nice-sounding ingredients. A “fruit product” may not contain any fruit at all.
Even juices labelled “100% natural” could be little more nutritious than a soda. Some of the lowest quality products called “juice” hardly contain any fruit juice at all.
“Natural” and “Organic” Foods
The majority of people believe that organic foods are healthier than food grown using conventional methods. Because of this, the organic and natural-products industry is worth an estimated $63 billion worldwide. But is it worth it?
One Stanford University study concluded there is no evidence that organic foods are more nutritious, nor do they lead to better health for consumers. The study’s lead researcher, Dena Bravata wrote, “There isn’t much difference between organic and conventional foods.”
Studies indicate that most organic farmers also use pesticides. Statements by the Organic Trade Association admit that an “organic label” does not always ensure a “safer product.” In fact, packaged products indicating they are “made with organic” ingredients can include up to 30 percent non-organic ingredients. For products with the USDA “organic” label, there are about 200 non-organic substances producers can to add to food without sacrificing the organic claim.
A study published by the The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that “evidence is lacking for nutrition-related health effects that result from the consumption of organically produced foodstuffs.”
Deceptive Marketing Lawsuits
Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responding to several citizen petitions asking that the agency to define “natural” on food labels.
Previously, the FDA published a statement saying “natural” means “nothing artificial or synthetic, including all color additives.”
But this is still too broad a definition. As of now, there are foods on the market containing high fructose corn syrup that are legally labeled as “natural.”
Carcinogens in “Natural” Products
The Quaker Oats Company is under scrutiny for its “100% Natural” label on their oatmeal products, which were recently found with traces of glyphosate.
Consumers in New York and California have filed a lawsuit against the popular oatmeal producer, claiming that the use of glyphosate constitutes deceptive marketing and invalidates claims made by Quaker Oats, which imply that their products are free from man-made ingredients.
According to a recent report released by the Alliance for Natural Health USA, traces of the dangerous herbicide glyphosate were found in many common breakfast foods.
Such contaminated food included oatmeal, bagels, corn flakes, yogurt, frozen hash browns, and coffee creamers. High levels of glyphosate were detected in eggs marketed as “organic,” “cage-free,” or “antibiotic-free.” Glyphosate is a chemical used commonly as a weed killer. Last year, the World Health Organization’s cancer experts linked it to cancer. They classify glyphosate as a probable carcinogen.
Herbal Supplement Mislabeling Lawsuits
The dietary supplement industry is a very profitable one–a billion-dollar industry–though a contentious one in the legal arena. Many dietary supplements have been called into question regarding both their effectiveness and their false advertising schemes. Two high-profile cases involve:
Some supplements make big claims about health benefits with very little evidence to support those claims. On top of that, many are mislabeled and leave out ingredients on their labels, leading to possible class action mislabeling lawsuits.
Herbal supplements and dietary supplements sold at major outlets like protein mixes, Gingko Biloba, St. John’s Wort, Ginseng, Garlic, Echinacea, Saw Palmetto, and Valerian Root have been tested by third-party labs. The results are less-then-desirable for consumers, and many feel like they have been deceived by supplement manufacturers and distributors.
The majority of the products tested did not contain the herbs they were supposed to, or did not contain the amount they had listed on the label. Major retailers named in class action mislabeling lawsuits include:
False Advertising Settlements
When companies engage in deceptive marketing tactics and misrepresent their products to the public, they may be held liable for false advertising and targeted in class action mislabeling lawsuits by plaintiffs and their consumer protection and false advertising lawyer.
In recent years, consumer advocates and product liability lawyers have held companies accountable for unscrupulous marketing practices that aim to confuse the consumer and misrepresent a product by intentionally mislabeling. Such business practice may result in class action mislabeling lawsuits, with large settlements and verdicts seen across the country.
Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Cincinnati, Ohio consumer protection lawyer and has successfully represented consumer interests throughout the United States.
If you have questions about class action false advertising and deceptive marketing lawsuits, contact The Lyon Firm at 800.513.2403 for a no-obligation consultation.