A federal judge has rejected a request to bar beverages containing high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) from claiming “natural” status on their labels.
The suit, filed by a New Jersey consumer against Snapple parent Dr Pepper Snapple Group, claimed that HFCS is a “highly processed sugar substitute,” and that the word “natural” on Snapple juices and teas was therefore deceptive. However, U.S. District Court Judge Mary Cooper ruled in June that determining what is and isn’t natural is the province of the Food and Drug Administration, not the courts.
Similar lawsuits had been filed against Cadbury Schweppes (now Dr Pepper Snapple Group), over 7Up, and Kraft, over Capri Sun. However, those companies voluntarily removed the word “natural” from their labels after the suits were filed.