Skip to content
May 6, 2014 / Scott Tillett

California Court Certifies Consumer Class Action Against Twinings Tea for Labeling Violations

On April 24, 2014, a California federal court certified a consumer class action against Twinings North America Inc., makers of Twinings tea products. Plaintiff, Nancy Lanovaz filed the class action in 2012 claiming that Twinings falsely advertised the health benefits of antioxidants in its teas.

According to the complaint, Twinings violated FDA regulations against nutrient content claims about flavanoids, a type of antioxidant, because the FDA has not established a recommended daily intake for flavanoids. The FDA has published industry guidelines for food labeling, which state:

“Can I make an antioxidant nutrient content claim for any ingredient in a food? No. An antioxidant nutrient content claim can only be made for nutrients for which there is an RDI established in 21 CFR 101.9 (21 CFR 101.54(g)(1)).”

The complaint cites an FDA warning letter sent to Unilever, the maker of Lipton teas, for similar claims of antioxidant content on its tea labels. The warning letter sparked a class action against Unilever for misbranding and misleading labeling practices, including claims that flavanoids in Lipton teas are “generally associated with helping maintain normal, healthy heart function,” and “may help maintain healthy vascular function.”

Lanovaz’s complaint sought monetary and injunctive relief against Twinings on behalf of California “All persons in the State of California who, since May 23, 2008, purchased Defendant’s green, black and white tea products,” for alleged violation of California’s Unfair Competition Law, False Advertising Law, and the Consumer Legal Remedies Act. However, the court limited the remedies available to injunctive relief, holding that Lanovaz was unable to demonstrate that consumers paid more money for Twinings’ tea products than they would have absent the allegedly misleading statements. This means that Twinings may be required to change its product labels, but will not be required to refund or reimburse consumers for tea purchases.

If you or someone you know has purchased a falsely advertised or mislabeled product, you may be entitled to relief. Please call Khorrami Boucher, LLP for a confidential consultation.

Advertisements

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: