In the latest news about the ongoing debate over which foods can be labeled “natural,” Monster Beverage has settled a class action suit over their use of the term on some of its products.
The suit stems from sales between 2010 and 2015 in the state of California where Monster is based. Four products are specifically named – two types of Hansen’s-branded juices and two Huber’s Lemonade varieties.
As Jessi Devenyns with Food Dive reports, this lawsuit is part of a “recent tidal wave of class action lawsuits” that serve as “an indication that sentiments around the word ‘natural’ are changing.”
Disagreements over what qualifies as “natural” have had to be settled in courts, since the FDA has yet to finalize an official definition of the term. An open comment period in 2015 and 2016 gave consumers a chance to weigh in, but Devenyns argues that with their large backlog of issues – including clarifying the definition of “healthy” and updating food nutrition labels – this could be a long wait.
However, others are hopeful that regulatory guidance from FDA will be forthcoming soon. We came across this guest article at industry group Food Navigator-USA by a couple of class action attorneys that paints a very different picture.
Rest assured readers, we will keep an eye on developments – and your food labels – and await with baited breath an outcome to this ongoing debate.
Jessi Devenyns, “Monster Beverage settles class action suit over ‘natural’ claim,” Food Dive, July 17, 2018.
Charles Sipos and Lauren Staniar, “When will the FDA define ‘natural’? Sooner than you might think…,” Food Navigator-USA, March 6, 2018.