Supreme Court Rules Food And Drink Makers Can Be Sued Over Claims On A Label

By Ian Bush

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — What’s really in that bottle of juice? The Supreme Court has ruled food and drink makers can be sued over claims on a label. The case is a loss for Coca-Cola, but KYW’s Ian Bush reports it also could affect Campbell’s.

The Camden-based soup company also makes V8.

“Campbell’s is trying to capture more and more shelf space by coming out with brand extensions,” said Steve Gardner with Center for Science in the Public Interest.

Including V8 Splash, says Gardner.

“It doesn’t qualify as a juice; at best, it’s a flavored juice-ish drink,” Gardner said.

He says the graphics on the label fool people into thinking the beverage is the nutritional equivalent of real fruits and vegetables. CSPI is considering a deceptive marketing lawsuit against Campbell. Tom Hushen speaks for the company.

“Campbell labels all of our products in compliance with all regulations, all government regulations, and we value the long-standing relationship we have with consumers and their families. Anything that a consumer needs to know about the nutrition provided in those bottles is very clearly labeled on the package,”  Hushen said.

That’s what Coke says about its Minute Maid “Pomegranate-Blueberry.” But the high court’s unanimous decision means POM Wonderful can sue, claiming its bigger competitor is falsely advertising the fraction of a percent of high-antioxidant juice that Coke actually is using.

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