Naked Juice’s misleading labels have been stripped naked by the law!
PepsiCo subsidiary, Naked Juice Co. has agreed to pay $9 million to settle a class-action suit alleging that it falsely advertised some of its juice and smoothie products as “all natural” and non-genetically modified.
Naked Juice denied that its product labels were misleading or false, but will now be required to establish a $9m settlement fund. Under the proposed agreement, consumers will each be eligible to recover a maximum of $45.
In addition, Naked Juice has also stated that it will stop using ‘all natural’ to describe its products and will hire an independent tester to confirm the accuracy of its labels “non-GMO” claims.
Naked Juice blamed the labeling confusion on the Government, saying there’s not enough “guidance” as to what can be called “natural.”
“Until there is more detailed regulatory guidance around the word ‘natural,’ we’ve chosen not to use ‘all natural’ to describe our juices and smoothies,” the company told BeverageDaily.com.
According to LA Weekly, Naked Juice was first targeted in five separate class actions in 2011 that were consolidated in the Central District of California the following year.
The complaint alleged that the company deceptively advertised some of its products — including its Acai Machine, Protein Zone and Mango Veggie juices — by using the all natural and non-GMO claims on their labels even though the products contained unnaturally processed and synthetic ingredients as well as ingredients derived from genetically modified crops.
The complaint also alleged that the products were labeled as containing certain vitamins and nutrients when they actually contained chemically distinct vitamin substitutes.
According to the Food and Drug Administration’s website: “From a food science perspective, it is difficult to define a food product that is ‘natural’ because the food has probably been processed and is no longer the product of the earth. That said, FDA has not developed a definition for use of the term natural or its derivatives. However, the agency has not objected to the use of the term if the food does not contain added color, artificial flavors, or synthetic substances.”
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