Monday, March 4, 2019

Week 9 - What does "all natural" and "non-GMO" really mean?

Song v. Kind LLC, et al.
Case No. 1:15-md-02645-WHP
Southern District of New York

Also:  1:18-cv-04982
Eastern District of New York

Kind fruit bar class action lawsuit.  One lawsuit was filed in 2015 and another in 2018.  They have been consolidated and will proceed together.

Plaintiff's claims: (1) the “all natural” claim is false.  The ingredient lists on the fruit bars falsely convey that the bars are made from whole fruits.  Instead, plaintiff alleges the bars are actually made from fruit derivatives and/or are processed in ways consumers would not expect.  (2) Kind falsely labels its ingredients as “non-GMO,” when they actually contain genetically modified canola, corn and soy.
The combined lawsuit alleges that the company is profiting off consumers’ desire to eat healthier, by labeling the product as healthier when it's not.  Plaintiff says that she and other consumers would not have paid the higher price of the Kind products if they had not been tricked by marketing that made them believe the products were made with whole fruit.

The case was placed on hold until the USDA established a national disclosure standard for bio-engineered food, which it was supposed to do in 2018.  However, the process stalled and plaintiffs [and the court] got tired of waiting.  In February 2019, the court ended the hold and the case is moving forward again.

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