This lawsuit alleges Hain Celestial Group violated state consumer protection laws by marketing certain frozen waffles under the Earth's Best brand name as “all natural” when in fact those products contained sodium acid pyrophosphate (“SAPP”).
According to the complaint in this class action lawsuit, plaintiff Ana Belen Ham asserts that defendant Hain Celestial Group's product known as “Earth's Best Organic Mini Waffles” were fraudulently marketed as being “all natural” when in fact they included a synthetic ingredient known as sodium acid pyrophosphate, a substance also used for tasks such as petroleum product manufacturing, leather treating, hog hair removal in slaughterhouses and feather removal in poultry processing facilities. SAPP, as the substance is commonly called, has been known to cause mineral imbalances and potential loss of bone density in those exposed to it.
The plaintiff in this case is alleging that Hain Celestial's conduct constituted violations of California's Business and Professions Code and its Consumers Legal Remedies Act, as well as fraud under the common law, breach of warranty and contract, unjust enrichment and negligent misrepresentation.
Earth's Best is a Hain Celestial Group product line designed to appeal to those interested in eating all natural diets free from synthetic additives. The product line's Homestyle and its Blueberry Organic Mini Waffles were marketed to parents of young children, a fact underscored by the company's use of packaging emblazoned with recognizable Sesame Street characters and the use of the term “all natural” on two sides of the product box.
This class action lawsuit alleges that Hain Celestial's conduct with relation to its Earth's Best waffle line involves deceptive and unfair advertising practices aimed to drive up the prices of products parents believe to be natural, but in fact contain SAPP. Most consumers shopping for healthy foods for their children are not food science professionals and cannot always determine whether a product contains natural ingredients or includes highly processed ones. Therefore, the language used in marketing the waffles was highly influential and caused purchasers to rely on false information.
The plaintiff in this matter purchased Earth's Best waffles for multiple years, in an effort to consume a natural, healthy diet free from synthetic additives and ingredients. During this time, she evidenced a willingness to pay higher prices for foods she believed to embody those qualities. Her decision to purchase roughly 50 boxes of waffles over the course of nearly two years was due in large part to the company's representations that the product was indeed all natural. Had she known the truth about the presence of SAPP in the waffles, she would not have bought Earth's Best items.
Labeling language on Hain Celestial Group's Earth's Best waffles was highly misleading to consumers who were willing to pay more for higher quality foods. Consequently, purchasers sustained economic losses by buying an item they would have otherwise avoided.
Article Type: Lawsuit