A California woman who alleges that certain J.M. Smucker’s products contain partially hydrogenated vegetable oil (PHVO), or trans fat, while the company falsely promotes them as healthy for consumers, has requested an October 10, 2011, hearing on her motion to certify a nationwide class. Henderson v. The J.M. Smucker Co., No. 10-04525 (U.S. Dist. Ct., C.D. Cal., first amended complaint filed August 12, 2010).

According to the complaint, the plaintiff purchased the company’s Crisco Original Shortening®, Crisco Butter Flavor Shortening® and Smucker’s Uncrustables Sandwiches® relying on representations that the shortening had “50% Less Saturated Fat Than Butter” and was “All Vegetable,” and that the Uncrustables were “Wholesome,” made from “whole wheat” and “homemade goodness.” Characterizing PHVO as an “unwholesome manufactured additive,” most of the complaint focuses on the purported health effects of consuming trans fat.  

The plaintiff alleges violations of various consumer fraud laws and seeks injunctive relief, corrective advertising, disgorgement, the destruction of “all misleading and deceptive advertising materials and products,” restitution, actual and punitive damages, attorney’s fees, and costs.