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Kellogg Sued for Alleged Deceptions in ‘Whole Grain’ Label
May 24, 2016
2 Min Read
Kellogg Company's Whole Grain Cheez-It crackers
The Kellogg Company is facing a lawsuit after a complaint was filed in federal court alleging that the label for the Whole Grain Cheez-It crackers misleads customers because the product mostly contains enriched white flour, several news organizations recently reported.
The complaint was filed on Thursday, May 19, by customers who purchased the product in New York and California who say that the main ingredient of the “whole grain” product is enriched white flour, a refined powder.
While Whole Grain Cheez-Its do have whole wheat flour in its ingredients, it is included in the list of ingredients below white flour, Consumerist reported, and a comparison of nutritional information of Whole Grain and original Cheez-Its indicates that the products have the same levels of calories, fat, saturated fats, protein, and carbohydrates.
“The plaintiffs argue that consumers are likely to be mislead by a ‘whole grain’ cracker that is nutritionally not any different than the original,” the Consumerist article noted, “especially when competing products, like Wheat Thins Whole Grain, Triscuits and others used either 100% whole wheat or predominantly whole wheat flour.”
The plaintiffs are alleging that Kellogg broke Michigan state laws on unjust enrichment and breach of contract. In New York and California, the company is accused of false advertising, violating consumer protection and deceptive business practices laws.
“Consumers are seeking out whole grain foods, and expect that when they see the words ‘whole grain’ on the package that whole grain is the main ingredient,” said Maia Kats, litigation director at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, in the Consumerist article. “Kellogg’s Whole Grain Cheez-Its have more white flour than whole grain. It’s effectively a junk food, and Kellogg is taking financial advantage of consumers who are trying to make better decisions for their health.”
Kellogg Company told TheDailyMeal.com and Consumerist that the litigation “is completely without merit.”
“Our Cheez-It Whole Grain labels are accurate and in full compliance with FDA regulations,” Kris Charles, a Kellogg spokesperson told TheDailyMeal.com. “We stand behind our foods and labels.”
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