PepsiCo brand Naked Juice will stop using ‘all natural’ to describe its products after agreeing to settle a US class action suit for $9 million.
Naked Juice: No More ‘all natural’ labels
According to Lexology.com, Naked Juice has agreed to settle the claims that it falsely advertised some of its juice and smoothie products as ‘all natural’ and not genetically modified (GMO). Although Naked Juice denies the allegations, the company must establish a $9-million settlement fund. Consumers will each be eligible under the proposed agreement to recover a maximum of $45 dollars. The agreement also requires Naked Juice to:
- Establish a product verification program
- Hire or assign a quality control manager to oversee the independent testing process for the company’s product line
- Establish a database to allow the electronic tracking and verification of product ingredients
- Modify future labeling, advertising and marketing to cease using “All Natural” and related statements.
The class action suit was decided on July 2, 2013 and today BeverageDaily.com reported that, in response to the requirement to modify future labeling, advertising and marketing, Naked Juice has officially stated that it will stop using ‘all natural’ to describe its products.
This is a win for advocates (including myself) who believe that we need to expose and eliminate the misleading practice of ‘natural’ labeling and marketing across all product categories, but specifically as it pertains to food. As I’ve written before, the term ‘natural’ is the single most commonly used greenwash tactic (the Sin of Vagueness). NaturalNews.com points out that the term ‘natural’ can mean just about anything and it has no nutritional meaning. A wide assortment of products, ranging from Skinnygirl Cocktails to Frito Lay’s SunChips to Wesson Oil, have been guilty of this marketing ploy.
More importantly, the term ‘natural’ isn’t regulated by the FDA. This is the fact that Naked Juice and other food manufacturers rely upon when they make their false claims. The Organic Retail and Consumer Alliance (ORCA) was created to combat the problem of the meaningless ‘natural’ product label. Let’s hope they continues to move the conversation on this issue.