Lawsuit Accuses Welch's Fruit Snacks of Violating FDA "Jelly Bean Rule"

October 1, 2015 3:08 AM EDT

Hampton, Virginia (PRWEB) October 01, 2015

On September 18, 2015, two women filed a class action lawsuit against Welch Foods (New York Eastern District Court, Case No. 1:15-cv-05405) for allegedly misleading consumers to believe the company's Welch's Fruit Snacks are healthier than they are. Welch's Fruit Snacks packaging states that the snacks contain 100% Vitamin C and 25% Vitamin A & E. The plaintiffs alleged that Welch's Fruit Snacks break what is known to the food industry as the "jelly bean rule." The jelly bean rule refers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) fortification policy, in which FDA states that the agency does not consider it appropriate to fortify sugars or snack foods with vitamins and minerals.

The plaintiffs also took issue with the fact that Welch boasts that its fruit snacks are made with real fruit. The snacks are "devoid of the health benefits plaintiffs and other reasonable consumers associate with consuming real fruit," the plaintiffs said in their complaint according to Food Navigator. Although the first ingredient in many of Welch's Fruit Snacks are juice from concentrate or fruit purees, the following ingredients are corn syrup, sugar, and corn starch.

Welch is not the first company to be targeted due to misleading ingredient claims and unapproved fortification. In 2014, pomegranate juice manufacturer POM Wonderful sued Coca-Cola (U.S. Supreme Court, Case No. 12761) for marketing its product as Pomegranate Blueberry juice when in fact it only contained .3% pomegranate juice. In April 2015, the Attorney General issued a warning letter to Snap Infusion LLC regarding the fortification of their SmartCandy.

It's always a good idea to be informed of U.S. FDA policies and relevant regulatory actions before labeling and making claims about a food product. Registrar Corp stays up-to-date on U.S. FDA food labeling regulations and cases regarding food labeling and can help food manufacturers properly label their products. Registrar Corp Label & Ingredient Review Specialists reference food labels against thousands of pages within the Code of Federal Regulations as well as Guidance Documents, Warning Letters, and more. Clients receive a detailed report, along with a print-ready graphic file of their revised label.

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