Kellogg to drop 'All Natural' from some Kashi product labels
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[May 10, 2014]
By Steve Gorman
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Kellogg Co has
agreed to stop using terms such as "All Natural" and "100% Natural"
on some of its Kashi and Bear Naked brand product labels and to pay
more than $5 million to settle a class-action consumer fraud
The settlement by the world's No. 1 maker of
breakfast cereal marks the latest such outcome in a recent wave of
litigation challenging nutrition claims in food labeling.
Several lawsuits merged into a single case in 2011 accused Kellogg
of deceiving consumers by labeling products as "All Natural" when
they contained ingredients such as pyridoxine hydrochloride, calcium
pantothenate or hexane-processed soy oil.
The settlement must be approved by a federal judge in San Diego
overseeing the case before the suit is dismissed. It was submitted
in court last week and contained no admission of false or misleading
labeling by Kellogg.
In a statement on Thursday, company spokeswoman Kris Charles said
Kellogg's Kashi and Bear Naked lines "provide comprehensive
information about our foods to enable people to make well-informed
"We stand behind our advertising and labeling practices," she said.
"We will comply with the terms of the settlement agreement by the
end of the year and will continue to ensure our foods meet our high
quality and nutrition standards, while delivering the great taste
Under the proposed settlement, Kellogg will drop the terms "All
Natural" and "Nothing Artificial" from labeling and advertising for
Kashi products containing certain ingredients challenged in the
Similarly, the terms "100% Natural" and "100% Pure and Natural" will
be removed from certain Bear Naked products.
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Kellogg also agreed to establish a $5 million settlement fund to
allow consumers to recoup $0.50 per package for Kashi products
purchased during specified periods. A settlement fund of $325,000
will be set up for Bear Naked consumer claims.
Lawyer Livia Kiser with the firm Loeb & Loeb, who specializes in
food labeling litigation, said lawsuits like the Kashi and Bear
Naked complaints were becoming more prevalent as health-conscious
consumers demand greater accuracy in packaging and advertising.
"Kellogg's resolution of this case is part of a trend," she said,
adding that a number of companies have altered wording on their
products in the face of similar litigation.
(Reporting and writing by Steve Gorman; Additional reporting by
Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Tom Brown)
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