Newsweek reports that "Aldi has been named in a class action lawsuit in California that alleges it misrepresented its fruit and grain bars to consumers by claiming they only contain natural products.
"In a filing with the U.S. District Court for central California on May 30, a lawyer for plaintiff Deana Lozano, a health care administrator and amateur athlete, argued that despite the product's packaging claims that the bars have 'no artificial flavors' and were 'naturally flavored,' laboratory testing had found they contained DL malic acid, a synthetic flavoring.
"The lawsuit is demanding $9,999,000 in damages for customers who bought the product in the past four years and alleges Aldi's packaging violates several California codes and had precipitated the 'unjust enrichment' of the company."
Newsweek writes that "the lawsuit noted that synthetic malic acid 'is manufactured in petrochemical plants from benzene or butane - components of gasoline and lighter fluid, respectively.' According to the National Library of Medicine, it is produced by 'catalytic oxidation of benzene' and is deemed to be of 'low concern' by the Environmental Protection Agency."
- KC's View:
The bet here is that this suit goes nowhere, largely because it always seems like when rulings come down in such cases, judges conclude that phrases like "no artificial flavors" actually mean "almost no artificial flavors," or "no artificial flavors that you need to worry about."
Which isn't the same thing. But so it goes.