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Friday, December 13, 2019

Health-conscious consumers sue food company for alleged false advertising

By Carol Ostrow | Jan 14, 2015

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Two Florida residents sued Bear Naked, Inc. on Thursday, over allegations that the whole grain food product manufacturer used misleading labeling on some of its products. 

William Gerard Barden and Sonsaray Stansfield filed a class-action complaint against the La Jolla, California-based company in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida in Tallahassee, alleging that the company’s Real Nut Energy Bars, which are labeled as “100% Natural," contain synthetic chemical compounds.

Having purchased more than $25 worth of Bear Naked Real Nut Energy Bars bars at Publix and Walmart grocery stores between August and November 2014, Barden and Stansfield state that they were willing to pay a higher price for the products based on the belief that they were all natural and therefore better for their health. They alleged they purchased the items without knowledge that they contained three specific synthetic chemical ingredients: tocopherols, glycerin and lecithin. The product labels disclose these ingredients, but do not identify them as synthetic.

The suit contends that all the company’s Real Nut Energy Bars Products are misbranded; that the labeling fails to comply with various Florida State food safety regulations, consumer protection statutes and advertising law; that the defendant intentionally deceived consumers; and that the plaintiffs’ purchase damaged them because, in their opinion, misbranded products are illegal and have no economic value.

Barden and Stansfield are demanding a trial by jury. They seek punitive damages as well as coverage of legal fees and costs. They also want Bear Naked to launch a corrective ad campaign.

The plaintiffs are represented by Tim Howard, of Howard & Associates, P.A., in Tallahassee, Florida.

Case no. 4:15-cv-00007-RH-CAS.

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