Photo by flickr user justj0000lieCandy is good for you? That's essentially what General Mills is arguing, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). The consumer advocacy group (and GAP coalition partner) filed a class action suit Friday against General Mills for portraying Fruit Snacks in a healthy light, "basically dressing up a cheap candy as if it were a fruit and charging a premium for it." Adweek reports:
In its complaint, CSPI alleges that the labeling on the packages for the products—Fruit Roll-Ups, Fruit by the Foot, and Fruit Gushers specifically—imply that the food is a lot healthier than it really is. Fruit Snacks are labeled as "fruit flavored snack," "naturally flavored, a "good source of Vitamin C", a low number of calories, "low fat," and "gluten free."
The suit cites several California laws governing misleading and deceptive advertising and fraudulent business practices, as well as Minnesota's Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act. (General Mills is based in Golden Valley, Minn.)
"In fact, Defendant’s Fruit Snacks contained trans fat, added sugars, and artificial food dyes; lacked significant amounts of real, natural fruit; and had no dietary fiber. Thus, although the Products were marketed as being healthful and nutritious for children and adults alike, selling these Fruit Snacks was little better than giving candy to children," the complaint reads.