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July 26, 2012 / Teresa Mkhitarian

Lawsuit Claims General Mills’ Greek Yogurt Is Not Yogurt

A class action lawsuit has been filed in California against General Mills’ Yoplait Greek Yogurt for false advertising. The Lawsuit alleges that the product is misbranded and not actually Greek yogurt, because it contains milk protein concentrate (MPC), a cheap ingredient that adds texture and protein to dairy products, as a substitute for expensive techniques required to produce real Greek yogurt.

The plaintiffs allege that they were misled by General Mills’ representation of the product as “Greek yogurt” because, unlike real Greek yogurt, the product is not strained to make the yogurt thick but rather is thickened using MPC. Yoplait Greek also contains pectin, gelatin, and locust bean gum aside from the MPC in order to achieve its texture.

MPC is a dry milk product that is very high in protein. It is often used in Greek-style products to increase protein content and provide a thicker texture without the need for expensive straining. The plaintiffs contend that while MPC makes it easy for General Mills to create a cheaper product, it is often imported from countries with lower food standards than the United States.

The FDA provides standards for yogurt, adopted by California’s Sherman Laws, imposing a minimum standard and acceptable list of ingredients for yogurt products. These FDA regulations do not permit MPC as a yogurt ingredient.

Federal law also prohibits false representations about the quality or identity of a food product. Under these provisions, food is misbranded if it does not conform to the applicable standard of identity defined by the FDA. California law prohibits corporations from making any false or misleading advertising claims to consumers.

If you or anyone you know has been misled by false claims about a food product, contact Khorrami, LLP for a confidential consultation.

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