A consumer has filed a putative class action against Carrington Tea Co. alleging the company advertises its coconut oil as “a healthy alternative to butter and various cooking oils, despite that coconut oil is actually inherently unhealthy, and a less healthy option to these alternatives.” Boulton v. Carrington Tea Co., No. B609360 (Cal. Super. Ct., Los Angeles Cnty., filed February 4, 2016).
Coconut oil “is approximately 90 percent saturated fat” and “increases the risk of [coronary heart disease] and stroke” as well as other negative health effects, the complaint asserts. Despite these effects, the plaintiff argues, Carrington markets its coconut oil as healthy, and further, “Carrington’s labeling claims are designed to conceal or distract consumers from noticing that its Carrington Farms coconut oils are pure fat” by including the phrase “Healthy Foods for a Healthy Soul” and claiming that “Carrington Farm’s cold-pressed organic extra virgin coconut oil is the most nutritious oil and the perfect choice for your health and energy!” The plaintiff seeks class certification, a compelled corrective advertising campaign, destruction of misleading materials, disgorgement of profits and restitution for alleged violations of California’s consumer-protection statutes.