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Two consumers have alleged that National Beverage Corporation misleads buyers of LaCroix sparkling water because it advertises the products as “all natural” and “100% natural” while they contain flavors composed of “between 36% and 98% synthetic ingredients.” Graham v. Nat’l Beverage Corp., No. 19-0873 (S.D.N.Y., filed January 29, 2019). The complaint cites the Center for Applied Isotope Studies at the University of Georgia, which uses “compound specific stable isotope analysis [] and gas chromatography isotope ratio mass spectrometry to generate multi-component, multi-element data for the enhanced characterization of organic chemical processes and source validation.” The plaintiffs seek class certification, injunctions, damages and attorney’s fees for alleged violations of New York consumer-protection law, unjust enrichment and breach of warranties.

A consumer has filed a putative class action alleging that Vivaloe beverages are misleadingly marketed as naturally flavored because they contain malic acid. Anderson v. Outernational Brands Inc., No. 18-2550 (S.D. Cal., filed November 6, 2018). The complaint asserts that malic acid is "an inexpensive synthetic chemical used in processed food products to make the products taste like tangy fresh fruits" that "is not naturally-occurring but is in fact manufactured in petrochemical plants from benzene or butane—components of gasoline and lighter fluid, respectively—through a series of chemical reactions, some of which involve highly toxic chemical precursors and byproducts." The plaintiff admits that malic acid is generally recognized as safe for use as flavorings but argues that the d-malic form of malic acid "has never been extensively studied for its health effects in human beings." The plaintiff alleges violations of California consumer-protection statutes and seeks class certification, damages, attorney's fees and…

Represented by the same attorneys, consumers have filed lawsuits alleging that two beverage companies misrepresent the amount of fruit in their fruit-flavored beverages. Campbell Soup Co. "sells artificially-flavored sugar-water labeled as if it were fruit juice," the plaintiff in one lawsuit alleges. Sims v. Campbell Soup Co., No. 18-0668 (C.D. Cal., filed April 2, 2018). The complaint asserts that V8 labels "convey to California consumers that they are purchasing a healthful, natural juice product made solely from fresh fruits and vegetables," but the beverages "consist of 95% water and high fructose corn syrup, topped up with 3% reconstituted carrot juice and 2% or less of the juice of all the fruits and berries for which the Products are named." For example, the plaintiff argues, "Berry Blend" contains "less than 1/2 of 1%" of juice from each of the "luscious ripe berries displayed on the label." The plaintiff also alleges that…

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