Tag Archives oil

A consumer has filed a putative class action alleging that Barlean’s Organic Oils misrepresents the health benefits of its coconut oils because “coconut oil is actually inherently unhealthy, and a less healthy option” when compared to “butter and various cooking oils.” Testone v. Barlean’s Organic Oils LLC, No. 19-0169 (S.D. Cal., filed January 24, 2019). The complaint asserts that coconut oil—“which is approximately 90 percent saturated fat”—increases the risk of cardiovascular heart disease and stroke, in contrast with representations on the Barlean’s website that its product is “Nature’s Most Versatile Superfood” that is “cold pressed fresh for your vibrant health.” The plaintiff alleges violations of California’s and New York’s consumer-protection statutes and seeks class certification, a corrective advertising campaign, restitution, damages and attorney’s fees.

The U.K. Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld a complaint that a “100% Natural Ingredients” claim was misleading because the processing of the snack bar's ingredients did not comply with the Food Standards Agency’s (FSA's) criteria for use of the term “natural.” United Biscuits submitted a list of ingredients for its “Go Ahead Goodness” snack bars and asserted that all ingredients were made in a traditional manner. After ASA referred to FSA guidance, it determined that the refining of sunflower oil involves the use of chemical solvents and the process of creating reduced-fat cocoa powder involves the addition of potassium carbonate. Because the FSA guidance says neither the solvent extraction process nor the use of acid or alkali solutions is “in line with consumer expectations of ‘natural,’” ASA ruled that consumers would not consider the ingredients natural and that the advertisement was misleading.

A California federal court has ruled that plaintiffs alleging they might purchase Carrington Tea Co.'s coconut oil products in the future have established standing sufficient to withstand a motion to dismiss. Zemola v. Carrington Tea Co., LLC, No. 17-0760 (S.D. Cal., entered January 24, 2018). The court had previously determined that the plaintiffs lacked standing to pursue an injunction because they failed to allege they would purchase the products in the future, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit later ruled in an unrelated case that plaintiffs can seek injunctions if they plausibly allege that they "will be unable to rely on the product’s advertising or labeling in the future, and so will not purchase the product in the future,” or that they "reasonably, but incorrectly" assume that the product had been improved. Because one plaintiff alleged that he would like to purchase Carrington’s products in the…

The American Heart Association (AHA) has issued an advisory concluding that replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats will lower the incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD), especially if combined with an “overall healthful dietary pattern." Frank M. Sacks, et al, "Dietary Fats and Cardiovascular Disease: A Presidential Advisory From the American Heart Association," Circulation, June 15, 2017. AHA reviewed multiple studies on the effects of dietary saturated fat intake and its replacement with other types of fats, as well as replacement with carbohydrates, and concluded that replacing saturated fat with polyunsaturated vegetable fat and changing dietary patterns reduces the risk of CVD by as much as 30 percent. Key recommendations of the review include lowering intake of saturated fat, increasing intake of polyunsaturated fat and avoiding coconut oil, which more than 70 percent of Americans regard as “healthy,” despite that it actually increases LDL cholesterol.   Issue 639

Ferrero SpA, maker of Nutella®, has reportedly won a dispute in the Brussels Court of Appeal over a rival’s advertising that claimed its similar product was healthier because it does not contain palm oil. Ferrero sued Belgium’s Delhaize Group after the “Choco” maker launched an ad campaign claiming its “certified without palm oil” spread was healthier and environmentally sustainable. The court held Delhaize made illegal and unproven comparisons in its environmental and health claims about palm oil and ordered the company to end the campaign. The court also barred Delhaize’s use of the word “chocolate” on Choco labels because the product does not contain chocolate. See 7 Sur 7, June 2, 2017.   Issue 637

A California federal court has granted in part and denied in part a motion to dismiss a lawsuit alleging Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. misleadingly advertises its food as free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) despite allegedly selling flour and corn tortillas with GMOs, using GMO soy in its cooking oils and serving meat and dairy products derived from animals fed GMO feed. Pappas v. Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., No. 16-0612 (S.D. Cal., order entered August 31, 2016). Chipotle argued that reasonable consumers would not “equate ‘nonGMO ingredients’ with ingredients not derived from animals that have eaten genetically modified feed.” The plaintiff argued that the reasonable consumer standard was not applicable at the motion-to-dismiss stage in a fraud or deception case, but the court found that the standard could be used to hold the plaintiff’s allegations to be implausible. The court compared the plaintiff’s meat and dairy allegations to a case…

Timed to coincide with PepsiCo’s limited reintroduction of Crystal Pepsi soft drinks, SumOfUs has launched a viral video campaign to draw attention to its allegations against the palm-oil industry. The video—which spoofs PepsiCo’s 1992 Super Bowl spot—has garnered media attention as well as more than 875,000 views on YouTube. In particular, SumOfUs reportedly claims that PepsiCo’s palm-oil policy does not cover Indonesia-based producer, IndoFood. According to Rainforest Action Network’s Gemma Tillack, “A nostalgia for rollerblades and fanny packs is fine, but it’s crystal clear PepsiCo needs to open its eyes and realize we are no longer in the 1990’s and deforestation, wildlife extinction and labor abuses are no longer acceptable costs of doing business.” See Politico.com and Ad Age, August 9, 2016. Meanwhile, an August 18 Forbes column authored by Hudson Institute Senior Fellow Hank Cardello argues that food companies and marketers “no longer have the sole power to shape consumer…

A California federal court has refused to dismiss a consumer’s putative class action alleging Nature’s Way misrepresents its coconut oil as a healthy alternative to butter, margarine and other cooking oils despite containing higher levels of saturated fat. Hunter v. Nature’s Way Products, No. 16-0532 (S.D. Cal., order entered August 12, 2016). The court dismissed Nature’s Way’s argument that it was not making a nutrient content claim, finding that a “Variety of Healthy Uses” phrase on the label was near enough to “representations about ‘Non-hydrogenated; No trans fat’ and claims regarding medium chain triglyceride content” to plausibly suggest a nutrient content claim. The claim of misrepresentation was plausibly pleaded as well, the court held, but granted Nature’s Way’s motion to dismiss claims under California’s Unfair Competition Law for lack of specificity. The court also refused to find standing to pursue injunctive relief because the plaintiff was unlikely to purchase the…

The European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA’s) Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain (CONTAM) has issued a scientific opinion assessing the human health risks of free and esterified 3- and 2-monochloropropane-1, 2-diol (MCPD) and glycidyl esters (GE) in food. According to CONTAM, which considered 7,175 occurrence data, “esters of 3- and 2-MCPD and glycidyl esters were found at the highest levels in palm oil/fat, but most vegetable oil/fats contain substantial quantities.” The panel warned that these substances—which form when refining vegetable oils at high temperatures—pose potential health concerns “for average consumers of these foods in all young age groups, and for high consumers in all age groups.” “There is sufficient evidence that glycidol is genotoxic and carcinogenic, therefore the CONTAM Panel did not set a safe level for GE,” said CONTAM Chair Helles Knutsen in a May 3, 2016, press release. “The exposure to GE of babies consuming solely infant…

A study reevaluating “the traditional diet-heart hypothesis” concludes that replacing dietary saturated fat with vegetable oils lowers serum cholesterol but does not reduce the risk of death from coronary heart disease or other causes. Christopher Ramsden, et al., “Re-evaluation of the traditional diet-heart hypothesis: analysis of recovered data from Minnesota Coronary Experiment (1968-73),” BMJ, April 2016. Using previously unpublished data from the Minnesota Coronary Experiment (MCE)—“a double blind randomized controlled trial designed to test whether replacement of saturated fat with vegetable oil rich in linoleic acid reduces coronary heart disease and death by lowering serum cholesterol”—researchers examined data on diet, serum cholesterol and health outcomes for 9,423 women and men ages 20 to 97 years. Their results evidently showed that substituting saturated fat with linoleic acid showed no benefits for coronary atherosclerosis or myocardial infarcts, even though participants in the dietary intervention group exhibited a significant reduction in serum cholesterol…

12
Close