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Kashi settles class-action suit over 'All Natural'

By Candice Choi

AP Food Industry Writer

LAST UPDATED: 06:50 a.m. HST, May 08, 2014

NEW YORK >> Kellogg says it will no longer use the "All Natural" or "Nothing Artificial" labels on certain Kashi products as part of an agreement to settle a class-action lawsuit.

The company, based in Battle Creek, Michigan, will also pay $5 million to settle the suit.

In an emailed statement, Kellogg Co. said it stood by its advertising and labeling practices but that it would change its formulas or labels nationally by the end of the year. The suit had accused Kashi of misleading people by stamping the phrase "All Natural" or "Nothing Artificial" on products that contained a variety of synthetic and artificial ingredients.

Among the ingredients listed in the suit were pyridoxine hydrochloride, calcium pantothenate, hexane-processed soy ingredients, ascorbic acid, glycerin and sodium phosphate.

The settlement was filed May 2 in U.S. District Court in California and is subject to court approval.

As people look to stick to diets they feel are wholesome, companies have flooded supermarket shelves with products marketed as being "natural." But more recently, numerous lawsuits have challenged their use of the term on products that contain ingredients some say don't fit that definition.

The mounting legal challenges have prompted several companies to remove the word from packaging. PepsiCo Inc., for instance, changed its "Simply Natural" line of Frito-Lay line of chips "Simply," even though the ingredients didn't change. Likewise, its "Natural Quaker Granola" was changed to "Simply Quaker Granola."

PepsiCo, based in Purchase, New York, also agreed to remove the words "all natural" from its Naked juices to settle a lawsuit that noted the drinks contained artificial ingredients.

The Food and Drug Administration says it doesn't have an official definition for the term "natural," noting that a food product has likely been processed and is "no longer the product of the earth." But the agency notes that it has not objected to the use of the term if the food does not contain added color, artificial flavors or synthetic substances.

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FunnyYams wrote:
The "All Natural" label implies that these ingredients are properties of the food product. It's notable that some ingredients listed are vitamins: calcium pantothenate (B5), pyridoxine hydrochloride (B6), and ascorbic acid (C). While essential to the human body, they were add-ons in production to enhance the nutritional content and thus, not "All Natural".
on May 8,2014 | 09:32AM
KaneoheSJ wrote:
They should also stop labeling their products "gluten free" if they are naturally free of gluten. I see tons of this misleading label. I have seen milk labeled gluten free when in fact milk do not contain gluten. Gluten is simply the protein that is contained in baked goods that help them to retain their texture. Why would wheat gluten be found in milk. Or water for that matter? By the way, most people are not gluten intolerant. It's otherwise just a protein that does not harm most people.
on May 8,2014 | 10:03AM
false wrote:
Food in the U S has been hijacked by profit-driven corporations. They buy out smaller competitors and jack the recipes around. Food just isn't real anymore.
on May 8,2014 | 11:36AM
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