Not so Pure: Tropicana Orange Juice & 20 Class Action Lawsuits Against its ‘Natural’ & ‘100% Pure’ Labels
A rash of lawsuits have popped up over Tropicana Orange Juices claims that they make a ‘natural’ and ‘100% pure’ product when the drink is actually full of chemically engineered ‘flavor packets’ and other unnatural ingredients. Tropicana Brand is made by Pepsi-Co, a company that fought GMO labeling and also just settled out of court to the tune of $9 million for its false advertising claims on its ‘Naked’ juice products.
‘Flavor packets’ might seem unneeded since fresh squeezed orange juice is already quite delicious and flavorful, but these chemical constituents are added to reconstituted juice that may have been sitting around in vats for a year or more. Just some of the chemicals in these ‘flavor packets’ are terpene compounds such as valencine. Terpenes occur naturally, and are sourced from lots of plant types including the conifer tree. However, once they have been chemically altered they become terpenoids and are used to remove paint from brushes, as in turpentine, the caustic artist’s medium.
Furthermore, because this OJ could sit around for months, juice companies hire flavor and fragrance experts to chemically alter the final product to make it palatable in much the same way Givenchy and Christian Dior make their perfumes smell ‘sweet.’ The juice is reconstituted, hardly the 100% fresh, healthy juice straight from an organic orange, let alone a conventionally grown one that is full of pesticide residue.
Fortunately, just this past June, District Judge Dennis M. Cavanaugh partly denied Tropicana’s motion to dismiss a class action suit brought forth by Dennis Lynch and seven other plaintiffs. This lawsuit, among others, is claiming that Tropicana has been advertising falsely since their product is highly processed and artificially flavored, but sold as ‘natural’ and ‘100% pure.’ Tropicana is in fact, “pasteurized, deaerated, stripped of flavor and aroma, stored for long periods of time before available to the public, and colored and flavored before being packaged, and then shipped all over the country.”
In the Lynch vs. Tropicana lawsuit, plaintiffs are suing for “unjust enrichment; breach of express warranty; numerous violations of New York, New Jersey and Wisconsin laws; punitive damages; injunctive relief and declaratory relief, among other complaints.” If these 7 individuals are able to successfully win their case, manufacturers might be a little more mindful about the claims they make about our foods, especially as the public is becoming more alert due to GMO-labeling being refused by the politicians we voted into office, and the widespread blatant label lies of the food industry.
If you feel you have a right to know what is in your food, you can visit JustLabelIt.org to become more active in fighting for healthy, natural food in just eight easy steps.
Christina Sarich is a humanitarian and freelance writer helping you to Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.