No More ‘7UP Antioxidant’
It used to be that 7UP’s antioxidant line includes 7UP Anioxidant, diet Cherry 7UP Antioxidant, Mixed Berry 7UP Antioxidant, and Pomegranate 7UP Antioxidant flavors all of which contain small amounts of vitamin E which was added in order to market the drinks as ‘antioxidant.’ But, 7UP, owned by Snapple, has agreed to reformulate and re-market these varieties as a direct result of a lawsuit initiated by the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest. In November 2012, a federal class action lawsuit was filed against 7UP that alleged the pictures of various fruits on 7Up labels “gave the impression that the antioxidants might have come from fruit, but there is no fruit juice of any kind in any variety of 7UP.” That aside, the FDA’s “Jelly Bean” rule requires a minimum nutritional content for labeling a product as ‘healthy’ and prohibits companies from fortifying food just to make a ‘healthy’ claim.
CSPI litigation director Steve Gardner sayssimply: “Soda is not a health food, and should not be marketed as a healthy source of antioxidants or other nutrients.”
As I’ve written about before, there have been several high-profile beverages that have recently settled or lost lawsuits. The guilty beverage companies have committed marketing sins ranging from the misuse of the term ‘natural’ despite containing GMOs and chemicals (such as Naked Juice and Skinnygirl Cocktails) to flagrantly exaggerating health claims (like POM Pomegranate Juice and Vitaminwater).
CSPI has publicly stated that “litigation over individual products is not the best way to get companies to obey the law.” However, CSPI has ben party to a number of successful lawsuits that have recently been effective in compelling beverage companies to stop making bogus marketing claims.
Photo: SimonQ錫濛譙 by Creative Commons license