PepsiCo has agreed to remove the “all natural” label from its Naked juices and pay $9 million to settle a lawsuit that argued some of the ingredients in the fruit and veggie drinks aren’t “natural,” the Associated Press reports.
In an email to the AP, Pepsi said some of the drinks include an “added boost of vitamins.”
The lawsuit claimed that vitamins are synthetic ingredients, including a fiber made by Archer Daniels Midland.
Pepsi didn’t respond when asked if the juices include synthetic fibers, the AP says.
The Food and Drug Administration does not have a definition for a “natural” food product. It says, from a food science perspective, it’s difficult to define what constitutes natural once the food has been processes and is no longer a product of the earth. However, the FDA has not objected to companies using the term if the food does not contain added color, artificial flavors or synthetic substances.
The lawsuit also said Pepsi’s Naked juices contain genetically modified organisms. In the email to the AP, Pepsi denied these claims, said it will continue to label its drinks “non-GMO” and said it plans to have the non-GMO status of its juices verified by a third-party.
Pepsi isn’t the first company to get into legal trouble over its green marketing claims and product ingredients.
Earlier this year Procter & Gamble, makers of Tide and Tide Free & Gentle detergents, agreed in a California court to reduce the levels of the chemical 1,4 dioxane in its laundry products after pressure from environmental groups and a lawsuit from a nonprofit. The chemical has been linked in animal studies to increased risk of breast cancer, according to Women’s Voices for the Earth.
The Tide Free & Gentle website shows a picture of a baby and touts the detergent as a “great clean that’s gentle on your skin.”
The EPA calls the chemical a “probably human carcinogen,” and California’s Proposition 65, the state law governing toxic chemical exposure in consumer products, classifies 1,4 dioxane as a known carcinogen.
In 2010, the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus recommended that Seventh Generation either modify or discontinue certain advertising claims for the company’s household cleaning and laundry products after P&G challenged the products’ health, safety and ingredient claims.