Fruit Roll-Ups Sued For Allegedly Not Actually Being Healthy

A Brooklyn, NY woman is suing General Mills for allegedly misleading consumers about Fruit Roll-Ups. She claims they are not quite as healthful as the packaging would like you to believe because they contain partially hydrogenated oil.

Use of the oil in Fruit Roll-Ups, Fruit by the Foot and Fruit Gushers makes the marketing message that fruit snacks are “nutritious” “false and misleading,” according to the lawsuit.

The complaint seeks class action status, says Reuters.

General Mills sued on Fruit Roll-Ups health claims [Reuters]

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  1. JennQPublic says:

    But… But… But they have fruit in them! :-/

  2. danmac says:

    Is there a law that states that any product with partially hydrogenated oil cannot advertise itself as a healthy snack? If not, this woman needs to fuck off. Almonds are advertised as a superfood…can I sue salted almonds manufacturers who extol the virtues of almonds that are salty and high in calories? God, I hate some class-action lawsuits…lawyers are the only ones who usually benefit.

    • qwickone says:

      This particular oil is what she has an issue with. And it’s pretty much the worst single thing you can put in food (that’s edible, of course). It’s so bad for you that it’s actually outlawed in some countries (and it really should be outlawed everywhere). It has a clear and undeniable correlation to heart disease (scientists are working on the causation part right now, which is why it’s not illegal here now).

      • Salty Johnson says:

        But it says it has partially hydrogenated oils right there on the side of the box, and no law I’ve ever heard of defines the word “nutritious” with regard to its use in marketing.

  3. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    Does the side have a Nutritional break down? Does it show nutrients?

    But seriously, just because it contains one possibly thing, does that negate anything healthy in it? I mean, fish may contain some mercury, but that doesn’t mean that eating it doesn’t provide important nutrients for your body…

  4. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Sadly, I’m not fully against the lawsuit. To a child, “fruit” means fruit, which means healthy. Granted, it’s the parents buying this, but it’s also being advertised to children, and children think it’s healthy.

    • JRules says:

      I don’t think any child is eating Fruit Roll-ups because they think its healthy…

    • danmac says:

      Do children really care whether it’s healthy? I’m seriously asking because as a child, I was looking for whatever tasted good.

      • Fidget says:

        Depends on how often you watch the news. I went on a “health kick” at like, ten. Which of course included fruit roll ups and diet coke. They probably kept me from getting scurvy, or something, I guess.

    • Caged Wisdom says:

      Child: “Can we get these Mom? They say fruit, they must be good for you.”
      Mother: “No. Even if they have some fruit, they have a lot of sugar and other bad stuff.”

      Problem solved.

      If people can educate themselves enough about their food to attempt to justify a lawsuit, then they should be able to be enough of a parent to teach their child some basic lessons about life, like advertisers lie.

      • Anonymously says:

        The point is the company is saying they’re healthy, which is a potentially misleading claim. It doesn’t matter if anyone is mislead by the claim.

    • dolemite says:

      I know what you mean. I’m healthy as a horse with my 3-5 servings of Fruity Pebbles every day.

    • Nidoking says:

      It’s not just children… Lowering the Bar has featured a few articles on the history of people suing cereal companies because they claimed that they were misled into believing that Froot Loops and Crunch Berries contained real fruit. Most if not all of them were represented by the same lawyer, who really ought to have learned his lesson by now.

    • pantheonoutcast says:

      Times must have changed – I didn’t have access to a credit card as a child, nor was I consulted on my opinion regarding the grocery purchases for the household.

      I even distinctly remember when the original Fruit Roll-Ups came out, and asking my mom for them. She told me they were nothing more than flat candy, so the answer was no.

      No. It’s a simple word, parents, a simple word, but a powerful one. If you don’t use it, then we’re going to have more people like this idiot in the article trying to use the courts as a source of parenting.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      So there are children who think apple pie is healthy because it has fruit in it?

  5. Ominous Gamer says:

    Class action againist Rollups? Who hasn’t bought a pack of these things. Even if she somehow pulls a win out of her stuckup rear, thats still pennies for everyone.

    Another waste of court time.

  6. nbs2 says:

    I’m looking at that box, and nothing on it suggests “nutritious.”

    What’s next? Jello?

    • He says:

      There are different fruit roll-ups products: http://www.foodgeekery.com/fullimg/rollups1.jpg

      • Rectilinear Propagation says:

        The only thing on that package that implies that it is nutritious is the Vitamin C part. But pointing out that something has vitamin C does not imply that it does not have oil in it any more than something being fat free or low fat implies it also has no sugar.

    • AnonymousCoward says:

      “Made with Real Fruit” in the upper right corner.

      • Rectilinear Propagation says:

        But that doesn’t imply that it’s nutritious, it only means that there’s fruit in it. There’s fruit in strawberry ice cream but that doesn’t make it healthy.

        “We’ve talked about this before granddad. Vegetables cooked with pork counts as pork.”

  7. You Can Call Me Al(isa) says:

    Speaking of fruit roll-ups, I will have one right now. I forgot I put them in my work bag after a road-trip I bought them for!

  8. Brontide says:

    Wait a minute. She thinks it’s the trivial amount of oil in the products that suddenly makes them “unhealthy”.

    Lawsuit FAIL

    • Brontide says:

      Lets take a 14 yo active male, 2800 calories/day. Even eating 100% of those calories as fruit roll ups ( 27 in total a day ) they would only take in about 8 g of saturate fats, less than half of the FDA RDI.

      • Anonymously says:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trans_fat#Health_risks

        Trans Fats != Saturated Fats.

        “On a per-calorie basis, trans fats appear to increase the risk of Coronary heart disease more than any other macronutrient, conferring a substantially increased risk at low levels of consumption (1 to 3% of total energy intake)”

        • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

          So are all saturated fats, trans fats, or are all trans fats, saturated fats?

          • Anonymously says:

            Not sure if that’s a serious question or not, but I hope this answers it:

            “Trans fat is the common name for unsaturated fat with trans-isomer fatty acid(s). Trans fats may be monounsaturated or polyunsaturated but never saturated.”

            Saturated Fats and Trans Fats are listed separately on nutrition labels.

            Due to rounding rules, anything less than 0.5 g of transfat is listed as 0g. If you’re jaded and assume food manufacturers want to use as much transfat as possible while still listing 0g, that means 0.49g of the stuff in each serving.

            If you eat 2000 calories, 1% is 20 calories, and at 9 calories per gram, that’s 2.2 grams of transfat per day.

            Eating more than 4 servings of 0g transfat foods that contain (partially) hydrogenated oils could put you in the “danger zone”. Some foods (mostly beef and milk) contain naturally occurring transfats, which also adds to this total.

            So, as my registered dietitian told me, you basically need to avoid anything with hydrogenated oils in at all to be safe.

      • AnonymousCoward says:

        The problem is trans fats, not saturated fats. Trans fats are worse even than saturated fats.

  9. Eat The Rich -They are fat and succulent says:

    As children we used to eat these all the time. We never assumed they were healthy. Hell, all they are is sugar, gelatin, glycerin, oil and fruit puree.

    The best part of these things was rolling them up into straws and drinking sodas with em. Strawberry rollup straws with Sprite! Mmmmm!

    • BuyerOfGoods3 says:

      Dang! I had no friends to teach me this! I never used them as straws…..i’m so buying them on my next grocery store trip.

    • ConsumerPop says:

      Agreed–ate them as a kid and never thought of them as being a “fruit” or “heatlhy”

  10. cancercat says:

    But they’re part of my diet plan! I eat five of these a day. Im just waiting for Vegetable Roll-Ups.

  11. RonDiaz says:

    How about just not buy them. I don’t buy anything with hydrogenated oil (save for one bag of Carosel cookies every couple years, they are sooooo good, can’t resist once in a while).

  12. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    Please.. I would’ve thought the gross amount of sugar and HFCS would have given away the fact they weren’t healthy LONG ago!

  13. costanza007 says:

    this one has purple in it. purple is a fruit.

  14. Dyscord says:

    It’s a snack. There is nothing on that box that suggests that it’s healthy. Nothing at all. “Oh it has fruit!” is not an excuse. There are plenty of things I can name with fruit that aren’t healthy.

    This is just ridiculous.

  15. littleAK says:

    Fruit Roll-Ups has to give everyone half their stuff and the schools are fined $1.2 million. Next up, is the case of Everyone vs. Everyone…

  16. jerrycomo says:

    They are very tasty… Except for the three coloured ones.

  17. iamvika says:

    am I the only one who actually saw and bought and ate Fruit Roll-ups that were sweetened with fruit juice instead of sugar? I bought them at a local Super Target. Was it a fluke? I couldn’t locate them at any Jewel and forget to see if they’re still at Target.
    http://www.amazon.com/Simply-Fruit-Rollups-Varity-Pack/dp/B0034UR8JY

  18. sponica says:

    Anyone who thinks fruit roll ups, fruit by the foots, and gushers are a substitute for fruit deserve the diabetes they develop. I like fruit snacks, and occasionally buy them…call it a reaction to being denied them as a child…but I have never once thought they were as healthy or as tasty as real fruit is.

  19. SkokieGuy says:

    While candy, rather than health food, its ingredients are far less horrifying that many products out there. Compare to yogurt, certainly considered a healthy food by most (and has protein and other vitamins and minerals)….

    Strawberry Fruit Roll Ups
    7 grams of sugar.
    0 grams of saturated fat

    Dannon Peach Yogurt
    27 grams of sugar
    1 gram of saturated fat

    • BuyerOfGoods3 says:

      Nice comparison! Thanks!

    • ChuckECheese says:

      That’s more sugar than an equivalent volume of soda. 8 oz of soda has about 26 g of sugar. A typical yogurt is 6 fl oz. Consider sugar is about 4g per tsp. We’re talking almost 7 tsp of sugar.

  20. RoCSkieS says:

    What do you mean 7grams of sugar, “natural flavor” and 55mg of salt and 12g carbs isn’t healthy???

    http://www.generalmills.com/Home/Brands/Snacks/Fruit%20Snacks/Brand%20Product%20List%20Page.aspx

    • dolemite says:

      Looks like they are flattened out fruit flavored sugar paper. On the other hand, 50 calories is pretty much nothing. Not like they are eating a 500 calorie cupcake.

  21. BuyerOfGoods3 says:

    Christ….I ate these…I’m fat…Where’s My Class Action?!
    (Joke.)

  22. Marshmelly says:

    since when have fruit rolls ups been advertised as “healthy”? Are these all the time when I was little and never once thought of them that way.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      Exactly. There’s a difference between saying that something is actually healthy and just pointing out that it’s not as unhealthy as say, a candy bar.

  23. Beeker26 says:

    I’m not sure anyone with an IQ above that of a doorknob could look at these things and think they are “healthy” snacks.

    If you’re out shopping for a fruity treat that’s good for your children try an apple. They’re over in the produce section. Yes I’m aware you’ve clearly never heard of that part of the supermarket, so just ask someone that works there.

    General rule of thumb: if it comes in a box it’s probably not all that good for you.

  24. Sunflower1970 says:

    Yech. Tried them as a kid and hated them. The taste wasn’t bad..but I hated the texture. Even now I shudder thinking about them..

    *shudders*

  25. The_IT_Crone says:

    Is she going to sue Guiness next?

  26. Incredulous1 says:

    I remember eating these as a kid. I thought they were thicker and really seemed like a dried pressed fruit.

    When I had children of my own I bought them and I was shocked that they were these really thin neon colored things that had “tongue tatoo’s”

    Um..I’m actually a fat chick…. and even I know that these were candy not “fruit”

  27. gStein_*|bringing starpipe back|* says:

    yes, it’s the hydrogenated oil you’re worried about…

  28. TasteyCat says:

    This wouldn’t happen if they put what’s in the product on the packaging, like Gerber did in Africa with their cute babies.

  29. Aking0667 says:

    Organic Chemistry was last semester but, I’m pretty sure partially hydrogenated is the way to get around saying “has trans fat in it”, if that’s what this is about then this might be plausible.

  30. psyonn says:

    Ingredients of Fruit-Rool-ups:
    pears from concentrate, corn syrup (Corn syrup is not considered a good food by the nutritionists I know.), dried corn syrup, sugar, partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil (Anything hydrogenated is also not considered something you want to put in your child’s body.), a few other ingredients and then we have a variety of artificial colors.

    Nothing even remotely healthy in here except for pears

  31. akronharry says:

    Poptarts have fruit therefore they are healthy.
    C’mon people….what adult is stupid enough to think roll ups are even close to healthy? Oh……..never mind.

  32. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    If she were suing over the “just fruit” version of roll-ups’ claim that they count as a serving of fruit I’d say she has a point. But complaining about the oil doesn’t work: the package never uses the words healthy or nutritious and the claims they do make (only 50 calories, low fat, etc.) are probably true. None of the things they do claim imply there’s nothing unhealthy in it or that they specifically contain no oil.

  33. goldilockz says:

    What on Fruit Roll Ups packaging would lead anyone to believe it is a healthful snack?

  34. flacoman954 says:

    They’re pretty easy to make ;Google “fruit leather”