Kellogg Co., the parent company to Kashi, agreed to pay $5 million to settle a class-action lawsuit alleging Kashi mislead consumers by using the phrases “all-natural” and “nothing artificial” on packaging, The Associated Press reports.
In a statement officials with Kellogg say they stand by the advertising and labeling practices of Kashi but that the company would change its formulas or labels by the end of the year.
The products in question contained a variety of synthetic and artificial ingredients. Those named in the suit included pyridoxine hydrochloride, calcium pantothenate, and hexane-processed soy ingredients. The settlement, which was filed in California, is subject to court approval.
While the Food and Drug Administration does not have an official definition for the term “natural,” it notes food that has been processed is “no longer the product of the earth.”
Food labeling and marketing has come under scrutiny recently with a number of companies fielding lawsuits and tough questions from government officials.
Last month, Coco-Cola executives were grilled by the Supreme Court over the lack of pomegranate in its Minute Maid Juice product sold as “Pomegranate Blueberry Flavored Blend of 5 Juices.” The juice contains just 0.3% pomegranate juice and 0.2% blueberry juice.
Just last week, POM Wonderful tried to once again convince a court that it’s ads claiming the juice fought atherosclerosis, prostate cancer and other diseases weren’t misleading.
The makers of the juice have long been targeted by the Federal Trade Commission for their unsubstantiated claims. The FTC has said the research cited by POM was flawed and the company’s interpretations of the results were distorted to only highlight positive results.
On Tuesday, Blue Buffalo, the maker of purportedly natural dog and cat food, was slapped with a lawsuit by competitor Nestle Purina PetCare alleging the company is lying about the ingredients in its products.
Suit Prompts Kellogg’s to Drop “Natural” Labels on Kashi Products [The Associate Press]