I read this article a while ago about two women who were suing Nutella because they initially thought the product was healthy for their kids because of a television advertisement, and were shocked when they found out the product was full of sugar. The moms felt like the advertisements they saw on television were misleading and the courts agreed. The moms won the case as part of a class action lawsuit and consumers who purchased the product were entitled to a small refund.
There was another case in which Kellogg’s was sued (and lost) for claiming that its cereals Rice Krispies and Cocoa Krispies offered kids immunity from some illness because of the vitamins and minerals in the cereal.
Two popular mom bloggers are currently leading the charge for Kraft to take yellow dyes 5 and 6 dyes out of its popular Macaroni and Cheese products sold in the United States. (Which, by the way, is not in their Kraft European products.)
And in the news now is the Monsanto GMO issue. They have been sued multiple times by large and small farmers over seed issues, etc. and there has been legislation introduced to stop them, which has been unsuccessful. Some feel that it now appears that our government is protecting them in what food activists are calling the “Monsanto Protection Act” which effectively “strips the power from federal courts to halt the sales and planting of genetically modified foods even if health concerns arise, according to Food Democracy Now, a food-safety advocacy organization.”
I don’t know if you are like me, but I sometimes get weary of reading all of the back and forth from the Internet pundits and watching television personalities argue with each other over these types of issues.
However, when I find myself growing weary, I give myself a mental slap on the hand, because in many cases, these lawsuits do very good things for consumers.
If those moms hadn’t stood up to Nutella and told the world that the way they were advertising their product was wrong, Nutella would not have changed. If groups stop shining the light on misleading advertising on food products, companies will have little incentive to stay transparent and honest. Fortunately there are companies who genuinely care about their product, like my friends at Attune, and there are many other companies out there who do make quality, healthy products for their consumers.
The burden; however, is on us to do several things.
One, we need to always read the ingredient labels to see what is really in the product. Nutella has a ridiculous amount of sugar in it, and that is clearly listed on the label. Peanut M&M’s are not good for us even though they have peanuts, and a cereal that is based on a cookie cannot be the best choice.
Two, we need to do our research. If you are trying to eat only non-GMO products, visit the Non-GMO Project Website and research what products are verified to be GMO-Free.
Three,we need to decide if we should take action ourselves. Maybe we need to write companies, share information on our Facebook pages, get involved with groups who are affecting change, or consider spearheading legislation.
How do you feel about lawsuits and legislation against food companies? Beneficial or a waste of time? Have you heard of any issues you want to share? Diane