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Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Hain Celestial teas contain genetically modified ingredients, class action says

By Legal News Line | Feb 3, 2015

LOS ANGELES (Legal Newsline) - Two consumers filed a class action lawsuit against a well-known tea manufacturer on Jan. 26, alleging false advertising in its product labeling.

Sandra Burga, of Orange County, Calif., and Alison Conforti, of Brooklyn, N.Y., brought a consumer protection and false advertising class action complaint against Hain Celestial group, Inc., alleging that certain products advertised as 100 percent natural by the Delaware-based company contain genetically modified (GMO) ingredients sourced from genetically modified corn and soybeans.

Burga and Conforti alleged:

-That teas manufactured by the defendant containing ascorbic acid and soy lecithin do not meet the criteria for “natural” due to being sourced from genetically modified crops;

-That consumers paid a higher price because they believed the products were 100 percent natural; and

-That consumers would not have done so with the knowledge that the teas contained artificial, synthetic ingredients sourced from GMO crops, a processed sweetener (stevia) and/or chemical contaminants.

Specific allegations include breach of warranty, violation of consumer and business law, consumer fraud, and false advertising.

The plaintiffs seek injunctive relief in the form of a corrective advertising campaign; stricter accounting for profits from the products in question; actual, punitive and statutory damages; attorneys’ fees and litigation costs.

Burga is represented by Tina Wolfson, Robert Ahdoot, Keith Custis, Theodore W. Maya and Bradley K. King, of Ahdoot & Wolfson, P.C. in West Hollywood, Calif.; and Christopher P. Ridout and Caleb Marker of Ridout Lyon + Ottoson, LLP in Long Beach, Calif..

Conforti is represented by Todd S. Garber of Finkelstein, Blankinship, Frei-Pearson & Garber, LP in White Plains, N.Y.

U.S. District Court for the Central District of California case No. 8:15-cv-00115

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