Always thought Fruit Roll-Ups were a healthy snack? According to one new lawsuit, many Americans are being marketed a false healthy message of Fruit Roll-Ups, Fruit Gushers and Fruit by the Foot all manufactured by General Mills. A consumer protection group has taken action to stop these false messages by filing a lawsuit on October
Always thought Fruit Roll-Ups were a healthy snack? According to one new lawsuit, many Americans are being marketed a false healthy message
of Fruit Roll-Ups, Fruit Gushers and Fruit by the Foot all manufactured by General Mills. A consumer protection group has taken action to stop these false messages by filing a lawsuit on October 14th in a California federal court. The nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a consumer protection group, as well as the law firm Reese Richman LLP’s suit alleges that “General Mills is basically dressing up a very cheap candy as if it were fruit and charging a premium for it,” said CSPI litigation director Steve Gardner. “General Mills is giving consumers the false impression that these products are somehow more wholesome, and charging more. It’s an elaborate hoax on parents who are trying to do right by their kids.” The complaint states that partially hydrogenated oils are found in Fruit Roll-Ups and are not a part of any healthy diet. Partially hydrogenated oils lower HDL, the “good” cholesterol and raises LDL the “bad” cholesterol. The label doesn’t mention that most of the sugars are from fruit concentrates and corn syrup, artificial additives and potentially harmful artificial dyes
CSPI’s complaint states that the “Defendant is conveying an overall message of a healthful snack product to parents when, in fact, the Products contain dangerous, non-nutritious, unhealthy partially hydrogenated oil, large amounts of sugar, and potentially harmful artificial dyes.” Whats actually in Fruit Roll-Ups?
Strawberry Fruit Roll-Ups are made from pears from concentrate, corn syrup, dried corn syrup, sugar, partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil, citric acid, Sodium Citrate, acetylated monoglycerides, fruit pectin, dextrose, malic acid, Vitamin C (ascorbic acid), unspecified “natural flavor,” and Red 40, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, and Blue 1.
Despite pictures of strawberries and the side label reading “Made With Real Fruit,” no actual Strawberries are anywhere to be found. CSPI says that many of the ingredients are artificial by anyone’s definition, including the partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil and the acetylated monoglycerides. Other General Mills products that are problematic are Gushers Watermelon Blast which contain no watermelon. CSPI states that, “the bright colors of those products come from synthetic, petroleum-based dyes that can impair some children’s behavior.”
Not only is it unfair but it’s actually illegal in some states. Minnesota’s Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act and California has laws protecting consumers against misleading and deceptive advertising and fraudulent business practices.
General Mills has had a history of marketing and advertising deceptions when it comes to health. In 2009 the Food and Drug Administration finally demanded that General Mills halt its exaggerated claims of Cheerios cholesterol lowering and cancer prevention ablities. CSPI’s website states that they privately urged General Mills to change it’s “fruit snacks” labels but did not meet with success