Tropicana markets its orange juice as "fresh from the grove" and calls its product "great-tasting 100 percent orange juice," all the while claiming that it has fully complied with labeling laws. Can this be true when Tropicana's heavily processed, aseptic, oxygen deprived, tank-stored juice adds chemically engineered flavor packs - ethylbutyrate to the sluice of juice? If they didn't add ethylbutyrate to the juice it would taste flat and no one would buy it. I guess if they put toxic ethylbutyrate added to improve devitalized flavor no one would buy that either.
"It's not simply orange, it's complicated orange," says Alissa Hamilton, author of "Squeezed: What You Don't Know About Orange Juice."
New wave of consumer lawsuits.
These Tropicana lawsuits are just the latest to be filed in a new wave of lawsuits over "all natural" label claims. Recently, a number of national brands have been sued over deceptive labeling. Coca Cola, Snapple, Tostitos, SunChips, and Ben & Jerry's ice cream, to name a few, have found themselves on the defendant side of the law. Greedy companies looking to milk the cash-cow on consumer driven natural products are labeling everything they can "all natural" even when the products are just plain old junk food. Some companies like 7UP and Capri Sun have wised up to change their labels back from the lies.
If a product does not naturally occur in nature or has to be chemically processed, it is NOT natural and cannot be called all natural even by a major stretch of the imagination. But Big Grocery companies are arguing that chemically processed high fructose corn syrup should be allowed on the All Natural label. A New York judge backed Big Grocery to rule in favor of Snapple's grab at labeling high fructose corn syrup "all natural". Snapple however, eventually chose to distance itself from the high fructose corn syrup bailiwick by removing it from their All Natural products anyhow.
How the market is changing... again
The only thing Big Grocery companies pay attention to is Big Money. When facing multimillion dollar lawsuits and embarrassing consumer settlements, companies change, albeit slowly. This year already, Ben & Jerry's and Breyers ice cream settled lawsuits for $7.5 million, changing packaging labels and providing customers who bought mislabeled flavors like "Chubby Hubby" and "Chunky Monkey" cash rebates.
How the market is NOT changing
In seeking truth in labeling for processed free glutamic acid (MSG), the Truth in Labeling Campaign found out how obstinate the FDA can be in protecting Big Grocery interests. Their first project was launched to identify whenever and wherever MSG occurs in processed food. The Truth in Labeling Campaign joined with physicians, researchers, parents and an ever-growing number of volunteers to file a Citizen Petition with the FDA asking the FDA to require labeling of all MSG found in processed foods. After snubbing the Citizen Petition, the FDA used procedural trickery to get the lawsuit set aside and also to "protect" sensitive evidence contained in its own files that document the fact that MSG has toxic potential.
The best solution
The best solution, even better than expensive lawsuits and other maneuvers, is to get the Big Grocery companies where it really counts. Stop buying their deceptive products. Stick with organic foods as-much-as-possible (which are healthier for you anyhow) and avoid all processed foods. It's really not even about the money; it's about your health.
Sources for this article
Jonathan Deutsch, PhD. ABC-CLIO (2012) They Eat That?: A Cultural Encyclopedia of Weird and Exotic Food from around the World.
About the author:
Craig Stellpflug is a Cancer Nutrition Specialist, Lifestyle Coach and Neuro Development Consultant at Healing Pathways Medical Clinic, Scottsdale, AZ. http://www.healingpathwayscancerclinic.com/ With 17 years of clinical experience working with both brain disorders and cancer, Craig has seen first-hand the devastating effects of vaccines and pharmaceuticals on the human body and has come to the conclusion that a natural lifestyle and natural remedies are the true answers to health and vibrant living. You can find his daily health blog at www.blog.realhealthtalk.com and his articles and radio show archives at www.realhealthtalk.com