Skip to content
November 30, 2012 / Puneet Toor

False Advertising Lawsuit Filed over 7-Up’s “Antioxidant” Sodas

A consumer advocacy group has filed a lawsuit earlier this month against Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc., the producers of 7-Up “antioxidant”, alleging the soft drink manufacturers illegally mislead consumers over the alleged benefits of the antioxidants  some varieties of its soda.  The specific varieties in question are: 7-Up Cherry Antioxidant, Diet 7-Up Cherry Antioxidant version, 7-Up Mixed Berry Antioxidant and Diet 7-Up Mixed Berry Antioxidant.Soda-7Up-

The advocacy group, The Center For Science In The Public Interest (CSPI), asserts that the advertising and packaging on a new line of 7-UP soft drinks  are misleading because the drinks attribute the “antioxidants” to blackberries, cherries, cranberries, pomegranates, and raspberries, which are all depicted on the label, rather than added ingredient Vitamin E.  The lawsuit also asserts that the antioxidants from the added Vitamin E comes from fortification, which is prohibited by the FDA with respect to soft drinks. In December of 2008, the FDA prohibited the fortification and advertising of fortified soft drinks, prohibiting them from selling soft-drinks that contain “vitamins and minerals,” stating that candy and soft drinks should not be fortified.

This is not the first time that CSPI has gone after 7-Up’s labeling and marketing practices.  CSPI also threatened to sue Dr. Pepper Snapple to prohibit them from calling 7-Up “100% Natural,” on the basis that it contained factory-made high-fructose corn syrup. In response, Cadbury Schweppes, then 7-Up’s parent company, changed the labeling/product packaging so that it now says “100% natural flavors.” CSPI first attempted to contact Dr Pepper Snapple Group over the antioxidant mislabeling concerns in May, 2012, but the company refused to correct the labels.

In an emailed statement responding to the lawsuit, Chris Barnes, a spokesperson for Dr Pepper Snapple, called the lawsuit “another attempt by the food police at CSPI to mislead consumers about soft drinks.” Barnes also claims that all FDA regulations are met because the label clearly states that the beverage does not contain juice.

CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson said in a written statement That “Non-diet varieties of 7-UP, like other sugary drinks, promote obesity, diabetes, tooth decay, and other serious health problems, and no amount of antioxidants could begin to reduce those risks… Adding an antioxidant to a soda is like adding menthol to a cigarette — neither does anything to make an unhealthy product healthy.”

One of the issues in the lawsuit may involve the complex debate about the health benefits of antioxidants generally. According the articles issued by the Harvard School of Public Health, there is little to support that antioxidants from outside fruit and vegetable sources are actually beneficial to one’s health. Further, the article states that in some situations, those same fortified nutrients that are supposed to be acting as antioxidants can have the opposite effect and be detrimental to health.

The lawsuit, brought under violations of Federal and California false advertising law, is seeking class-action status on behalf of all the purchasers nationwide who purchased the 7-Up beverages in question. They hope to receive financial damages and a halt to the product mislabeling. The lead plaintiff is David Green, a Sherman Oaks, California  resident who was under the impression that the antioxidants in the soda came from fruit, and claims he would not have purchased the beverage had he known they did not.

“Every can or bottle of 7-Up consumed brings one closer to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other serious health problems,” said CSPI litigation director Steve Gardner. “So I look forward to having 7-Up go under oath and testify before a judge or a jury that this disease-promoting sugar water is actually a source of healthy antioxidants.”

The case is Green v. Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc., U.S. District Court, Central District of California, No. 12-09567.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of false advertising, contact Khorrami, LLP for more information.

Advertisements

One Comment

Leave a Comment
  1. EverythingZija / Dec 1 2012 11:00 pm

    Reblogged this on Everything Zija.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Consumer Advocate Legal Update

Insight and Commentary on Consumer Legal Issues

Plaintiffs-Advocate

Insight and Commentary on Individual Rights

Fair Employment Legal Update

Insight and Commentary on Legal Employment Issues

KB News

Legal Updates and News About Khorrami Boucher, LLP

%d bloggers like this: