Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Gerber Graduates Juice Treats - You Oughta Be Ashamed!

Gerber Graduates Juice Treats, a product "for preschoolers", according to its label, contains bright pictures of fresh fruit on its label: oranges, grapes, raspberries, peaches, pineapple, cherries. To further the impression that this product is a healthy and natural fruit smorgasbord, the label also says "FRUIT MEDLEY" in bold blue letters, followed by this list:

natural cherry, grape, orange, pineapple, peach and raspberry flavors with other natural flavors

Sounds yummy and healthy, to boot, right?

Well, not so much. These "Treats" - despite plain language on the label to the contrary - apparently contain NO ORANGE, NO CHERRY, AND NO PINEAPPLE AT ALL. NONE. NADA. ZIP. Instead, the treats contain less than two percent raspberry and apple juice concentrate. The main ingredients? Corn syrup and sugar.

The label also notes that the product is "New and Improved"! Wonder how they improved it - by putting more pictures of fruit they weren't using on the label, or maybe by adding more corn syrup?

Labels like this are not designed to provide harried parents with good, accurate information about what they are feeding their kids. They are designed to hide the truth about what's inside the box by making false claims on the outside of the box. Shameful.

Thankfully, the newly active FDA has taken notice of these kinds of misleading labels. On March 3, the FDA announced it had sent warning letters to Gerber and other companies requesting that they correct these labels, and other labels with similarly misleading claims. We'll see how the industry responds.

If you have purchased this product, or a similar product with a misleading label, and thought you were getting a healthy product containing substantial amounts of the fruit shown on the label, you ought to be angry. And you should give me a call to discuss your legal rights.

-B

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