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August 10, 2012 / Christian Przybylowski

Nature Valley Snacks Hit With Class Action Lawsuit

General Mills is under fire for claiming that their Nature Valley products are “100% natural.” Two California residents have filed class action lawsuits asserting that the Nature Valley brand snacks contain heavily processed ingredients and that the “100% natural” labels are misleading. Despite being advertised as “natural”, Nature Valley snacks contain high fructose corn syrup, high maltose corn syrup, and maltodextrine, all of which are highly processed ingredients often associated with unhealthy foods. This type of lawsuit has increased in recent years as more companies are branding their products as “all natural” to attract consumers looking for healthier foods.

The lawsuit charges General Mills with trying to capitalize on the consumer preference for natural and healthy foods. People will pay more for a product if it is associated with a healthier and higher quality lifestyle. Nature Valley products packaging makes use of the words “natural” and “nature” to try to tap into that preference. Additionally the brand’s advertising uses images of nature and wildlife to further associate the product with a healthy all natural lifestyle.

Class action lawsuits have been filed against other General Mills brands as well. Kix cereal is accused of containing genetically modified organisms (GMO) as ingredients, yet it is labeled as containing “all natural corn.” Another suit claims General Mills’ Fiber One bars do not contain fiber that is found in nature.

Consumer lawsuits alleging product mislabeling and deception ultimately seek to promote clarity and transparency from companies claiming that their products are “natural,” “fresh,” or “pure,” in order to give consumers a better ability to make informed choices about whether the product they are purchasing is actually healthier for them. If found liable for false advertising, General Mills could potentially face damages for violation of California’s False Advertising Act (Business and Professions Code section 17500), Unfair Competition Law (Business and Professions Code section 17200), and Consumer Legal Remedies Act (Civil Code section 1770). The class action lawsuit seeks to represent all California consumers who have purchased Nature Valley products that contained high fructose corn syrup, high maltose corn syrup, and maltodextrine and were labeled “natural” in the last four years

If you or a loved one feels they have been misled consumer products manufacturers for false or deceptive food labels, please notify Khorrami, LLP for a confidential evaluation of your rights.

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