A group of plaintiffs has filed a putative class action against Inko’s
Tea alleging that the company’s tea products contain ascorbic acid, “a
non-natural, highly chemically processed ingredient regularly used as
a preservative,” despite advertising the products as “100% Natural.”
Collazo v. Inko’s Tea, LLC, No. 15-3070 (E.D.N.Y., filed June 8, 2015).
Inko’s has consistently presented its products as “100% All-Natural,”
the complaint asserts, and contains “nothing but pure, freshly brewed
tea from tea leaves with no added ingredients or preservatives.” The
plaintiffs admit that “natural” has not specifically been defined, but
assert “there is no reasonable definition of ‘All Natural’ that includes
ingredients that even if sourced from ‘nature,’ are subjected to extensive
transformative chemical processing before their inclusion in a product.”
The complaint cites 51 statutes—one in each state and the District of
Columbia—that the allegedly misleading “All Natural” marketing violates
in addition to the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The plaintiffs
seek certification of nationwide, California and New York classes, a
declaratory judgment, damages, restitution and attorney’s fees.


Issue 568

About The Author

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.