A consumer has filed a projected class action alleging Ocean Spray Cranberries’ CranGrape and CranApple juice products contain artificial flavorings despite bearing “No High Fructose Corn Syrup, Artificial Colors or Flavors” labels. Hilsley v. Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc., No. 17-2335 (S.D. Cal., removed to federal court November 16, 2017). Originally filed in San Diego County, the complaint alleges that CranApple contains synthetic dl-malic acid made from petrochemicals but lists “malic acid”—a generic term that can be used to describe a “naturally occurring compound”—on the label. The plaintiff further alleges that CranGrape contains fumaric acid, also synthesized from petrochemicals, and that both fumaric and malic acid are used to enhance flavor. Claiming violations of California’s consumer-protection statutes as well as breach of warranties, the plaintiff seeks class certification, disgorgement, restitution, punitive damages, injunctive relief, corrective advertising and attorney’s fees.

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For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.

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