The Center for Science in the Public Interest recently filed a class action lawsuit against General Mills for claims made by General Mills in connection with its Fruit Roll-Ups and Fruit by the Foot fruit snacks. The complaint alleges that General Mills made misleading and false statements that Fruit Roll-Ups and Fruit by the Foot were nutritious, healthful and more nutritious than similar fruit snacks. Specifically, the complaint alleges that statements such as "fruit flavored snacks," "naturally flavored," and a "good source of vitamin C," as well as stating that the snacks had a low number of calories, were low fat and gluten free, conveyed positive health benefits when in fact the snacks contain added sugars, artificial coloring, did not contain significant amounts of actual fruit and contained no dietary fiber. The complaint further alleges that the snacks are advertised as healthful snack alternatives for children in as much as the snacks are advertised on General Mills' website using the phrase "makes mom smile too" along with the above touted qualities of the snacks. This is the second lawsuit against General Mills regarding advertising claims for its fruit snacks. The first lawsuit regarding claims for Fruit Roll-Ups was voluntarily dismissed by the plaintiff.
TIP: There have been a number of class action lawsuits filed recently against food manufacturers alleging that advertising claims touting positive qualities of food products are deceptive and misleading where the food also contains allegedly non-nutritious ingredients.