Posted by: Lawyer Sanders | January 21, 2009

Environmental lawyer Sanders says Coca Cola sued in California federal district court for deceptive and unsubstantiated health claims for VitaminWater, a sugar charged drink.

In a class action lawsuit, the Coca-Cola Company was sued over what the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) says are deceptive and unsubstantiated claims on its VitaminWater line of beverages.   Click here to see the complaint in the class action lawsuit filed in federal district court in California.

 

According to the CSPI, Coke markets VitaminWater as a healthful alternative to soda by labeling its several flavors with such health buzz words as “defense,” “rescue,” “energy,” and “endurance.” The company makes a wide range of dramatic claims, including that its drinks variously reduce the risk of chronic disease, reduce the risk of eye disease, promote healthy joints, and support optimal immune function.

 

In fact, according to CSPI nutritionists, the 33 grams of sugar in each bottle of VitaminWater do more to promote obesity, diabetes, and other health problems than the vitamins in the drinks do to perform the advertised benefits listed on the bottles.

 

VitaminWater’s website, marketing copy, and labels claim that VitaminWater is healthy, claiming, for example, that “balance cran-grapefruit” has “bioactive components” that promote “healthy, pain-free functioning of joints, structural integrity of joints and bones” and that the nutrients in “power-c dragonfruit” “enable the body to exert physical power by contributing to the structural integrity of the musculoskeletal system.”

 

Reading through the complaint, if accurate, VitaminWater contains between zero and one percent juice, despite the full names of the drinks, which include “endurance peach mango” and “focus kiwi strawberry,” and “xxx blueberry pomegranate acai,” among others. A press release for the “xxx” drink claims its antioxidants makes the drinker “last longer” in some unspecified way; in any event, it has no blueberry, pomegranate, or acai juice, nor do the others have any cranberry, grapefruit, dragon fruit, peach, mango, kiwi, or strawberry juice.  Why are these fruit names on the labels if the drinks do not contain this ingredient?

 

With a name like, VitaminWater, it has to be healthy, right.  Apparently, NOT!  Shame on you Coca Cola for this corporate greed and disception conduct towards your customers.  There will be no VitaminWater in my office or home. 

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