The Center For Science In The Public Interest and law firm Reese Richman will be launching a class action suit against General Mills for the presentation of its Fruit Roll-ups, Fruit Gushers and Fruit by the Foot brands to consumers according to a press release issued this past Friday. The suit accuses General Mills of marketing products that are “little better than candy” as “healthful and nutritious”.
The products featured in the coming class action suit contain trans fat, large amounts of added sugars, and potentially harmful artificial food coloring. They lack significant amounts of real, natural fruit and contain virtually no dietary fiber. The complaint states that although these products are portrayed as healthy and nutritious for children and adults, they aren’t at all.
General Mills has since defended all three of these products, stating that they stand behind the accuracy of their product labeling.
Technically the food label carried by these three General Mills products is accurate. The snacks are a good source of vitamin C, they are low in calories, low in fat and do contain fruit. The CSPI, however, claims that those attributes alone don’t make the products healthy and that General Mills is, in fact, deceiving parents by marketing high-sugar foods that are little more than fruit-flavored as healthy, nutritious snacks. In other words the “good” attributes listed on the label don’t qualify Fruit Roll-ups, Fruit Gushers or Fruit by the Foot as healthy, even though they’re true.
In addition, although each of these products’ trans fat content is quite low, it still contributes to cumulative trans fat content. When you consider the trans fat, with the added sugars, and artificial colors and flavorings, it’s hard to imagine that the marketing, advertising and packaging of these products is not in violation of some very specific state laws.
General Mills has stated that they have not yet been served with this lawsuit, although the Center for Science in the Public Interest has issued a press release regarding the class action. The company has stated that it has every intention to stand by their products, marketing, advertising and packaging.