Kellogg settles suit over Kashi ‘all natural’ claims

by Eric Schroeder
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BATTLE CREEK, MICH. — The Kellogg Co. said it no longer will use the terms “all natural” or “nothing artificial” on the labels of certain Kashi products after settling a class-action lawsuit on May 2. Also as part of the settlement, the company has agreed to pay $5 million. The lawsuit was first filed in August 2011 in the U.S. District Court Southern District of California.

“Kashi and Bear Naked provide comprehensive information about our foods to enable people to make well-informed choices,” said Kris Charles, a spokesperson for Kellogg. “We stand behind our advertising and labeling practices. We will comply with the terms of the settlement agreement by the end of the year and will continue to ensure our foods meet our high quality and nutrition standards, while delivering the great taste people expect.”

Among the ingredients listed in the suit were pyridoxine hydrochloride, calcium pantothenate, hexane-processed soy ingredients, ascorbic acid, glycerin and sodium phosphate.

Kellogg is not the only company to come under fire for the use of “all natural” labeling. A class action suit filed by Edward Musgrave and a national class of consumers on May 1 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California claims Mission Viejo, Calif.-based Marie Callender’s Pie Shops, Inc. engaged in the “unfair, unlawful, deceptive, and fraudulent practice of describing and falsely advertising certain products as ‘all natural’ when, in fact, they contain the synthetic substance sodium acid pyrophosphate.”

H.J. Heinz in March was sued by a consumer claiming the company’s distilled white vinegar is not “all natural” because the product is made with bioengineered crops, namely corn. Last year, PepsiCo, Inc., Purchase, N.Y., removed the phrase “all natural” from the labels of its Naked juices after a lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court of California. PepsiCo agreed to pay $9 million to settle.

The Food and Drug Administration does not have an official definition for the term “natural.”
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