Class Action Attorney Reviews Deceptive Marketing Lawsuits & False Advertising in the Food Industry for plaintiffs nationwide

In 2013, General Mills Inc. settled a lawsuit over their Fruit Roll-Ups snack food over allegations of deceptive 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.

Joe Lyon is an experienced product liability lawyer and class action attorney representing plaintiffs nationwide in false advertising and deceptive marketing lawsuits. 

Healthy Mislabeling & 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
•    Natural
•    Naturally sweetened
•    Organic
•    Healthy
•    Gluten-free

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.

deceptive food marketing

“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.

Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Cincinnati, Ohio product liability 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.