Authored By: Candace Whitman
Trader Joe’s is a popular grocery store known for carrying a variety of healthy, natural food options for people with all types of dietary requirements and preferences. According to an article by Andrew Levad and Jason Gordon of Reed Smith LLP, Plaintiff Serena Wong filed a complaint against the store earlier this year for false advertising on one of their “all natural” products.
Wong claims that Trader Joe’s “Ts & Js Lemon Grapefruit Lime Tangerine Sour Gummies” are not completely “all natural,” like the packaging claims. The label on the candies lists the ingredient “malic acid,” which gives the candy it’s sour flavor.
Malic acid is, in fact, a natural ingredient; however, laboratory testing on the product shows that the candy contains the ingredient’s “d-l” form, which is “'a synthetic petrochemical’ that has ‘never been extensively studied for its health effects in human beings’ according to the complaint.”
In May, Trader Joe’s removed the law suit and were granted an extension until August to respond. Trader Joe’s has not yet addressed the complaint.
Levad and Gordon conclude that “…advertisers should be wary not to open themselves to potential liability by mislabeling or ambiguously-labeling a product’s ingredients.” This case also shows that consumers should be aware that ingredients in products may not always be what they seem. If you truly want to ensure that what you are eating is completely natural, it may be smart to research the ingredients in your food as well as the brands and manufacturers that make them.
Click here to read Levad and Gordon’s article on this issue.
Photo Credit: stokkete