This could be a big win for consumer rights and safety. A private citizen brought a lawsuit against The Gerber Products Company which was initially dismissed, but has now been reinstated by the US Court of Appeals. A product of Gerber, formerly called “Fruit Juice Snacks” depicts real fruit on the packaging when its key ingredients are corn syrup and refined sugar. Gerber has now changed the name to “Juice Treats”, which hasn’t really changed much since juice is still not a major ingredient.
The Court of Appeals sided with the private citizen and decided consumers should not be “expected to look beyond misleading representations on the front of the box to discover the truth from the ingredient list in small print on the side of the box.”
The lawsuit will continue with the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) as counsel. Unfortunately in the meanwhile, the product will remain with baby and toddler food at the supermarket, instead of in the candy isle.
Gerber is definitely not the only offender of deceptive food product marketing, and hopefully a ruling against the company will help shape future marketing of unhealthy foods. If all is handled correctly, the candy isle will soon become half of the grocery store.