Lawsuit claims General Mills' fruit snacks deceptively labeled as healthyGeneral Mills' fruit snacks on Friday became the target of a lawsuit that claims the products are deceptively billed as healthy, though they're mostly made from sugar and artificial additives.
By: Mike Hughlett, Star Tribune / MCT
General Mills' fruit snacks on Friday became the target of a lawsuit that claims the products are deceptively billed as healthy, though they're mostly made from sugar and artificial additives.
The Golden Valley-based company "engaged in a widespread marketing campaign to mislead consumers about the nutritional and health qualities of its fruit snacks," according to the suit.
It was filed on behalf of a California woman by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a food watchdog group.
In a statement, General Mills said it had not yet been served with the lawsuit. "We stand behind our products -- and we stand behind the accuracy of the labeling of those products." The company's Fruit Roll-Ups, Fruit by the Foot and Fruit Gushers are popular snacks, particularly among children.
In packaging and marketing for the snacks, General Mills says the product is "naturally flavored," "fruit flavored" and "a good source of Vitamin C," according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
Strawberry Fruit Roll-Ups, however, are not made with strawberries, but instead with "pears from concentrate," corn syrup and other ingredients, the group points out.
The snacks contain 7 grams to 12 grams of sugar per serving, and 10 percent of the daily recommended intake of Vitamin C, according to the company's website.
"General Mills is basically dressing up very cheap candy as if it were fruit and charging a premium for it," the Center for Science in the Public Interest's litigation director Steve Gardner said in a news release.
The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California and seeks class action status.
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.