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Tom’s of Maine Charcoal Toothpastes Misleading Claims Class Action

Tom’s of Maine, Inc. originated as a brand of supposedly “natural” personal care products, such as toothpaste, soap, and deodorant. The complaint for this class action brings suit against the company for deceptive marketing and misleading claims and omissions, in connection with the sale of toothpastes with activated charcoal.

The complaint quotes Tom’s as saying that its mission is to serve customers “with the highest verified standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability.”

Also, the complaint alleges, “Tom’s specifically holds itself out as having standards of ‘purposeful’ and ‘transparen[t]’ inclusions of ingredients, ‘conform[ing] to the requirements of regulatory authorities’, and obtaining sufficient research to show safety and efficacy’ for all of their products.”

Among the products it offers are Activated Charcoal Toothpaste—Fluoride-Free in Peppermint and Natural Activated Charcoal Toothpaste in Peppermint.

The complaint contends, “Tom’s actively misleads consumers to believe the Charcoal Toothpastes are safe and ‘gentle’ whitening toothpastes.” Other claims made on the packaging include “safe for enamel” and “safe for everyday use.”

However, this messaging is materially misleading and deceptive, the complaint claims, it “lacks a factual basis,” and it recklessly omits important information.

According to the complaint, “The consensus of respected dentists, researchers and industry experts weighs against the use of charcoal dentifrices, due to the lack of scientific substantiation on safety and efficacy, as well as risks of harm.” Also, Tom’s does not warn consumers that, as the complaint contends, “charcoal, when used in toothpastes, is known to be abrasive to enamel and the gums, and to pose risky safety hazards with use.” In fact, the complaint alleges that the “whitening” function is accomplished by abrading teeth.

In sum, the complaint alleges that Tom’s toothpastes “(i) cannot effectively perform gentle ‘whitening’ functions … and (ii) are not safe for enamel and everyday use as represented.”

Two classes and a subclass have been defined.

  • The National Class is all persons or entities in the US who bought a Tom’s Charcoal Toothpaste for personal use, from the beginning of any applicable limitations period through the date of preliminary approval in this case.
  • The Consumer Fraud Multi-State Class is all persons or entities in California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Washington, and Wisconsin who bought a Tom’s Charcoal Toothpaste for personal use, from the beginning of any applicable limitations period through the date of preliminary approval in this case.
  • A New York Subclass has also been defined, for persons and entities in New York.
Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Tom’s of Maine Charcoal Toothpastes Misleading Claims Complaint

March 5, 2021

Tom’s of Maine, Inc. originated as a brand of supposedly “natural” personal care products, such as toothpaste, soap, and deodorant. The complaint for this class action brings suit against the company for deceptive marketing and misleading claims and omissions, in connection with the sale of toothpastes with activated charcoal.

Tom’s of Maine Charcoal Toothpastes Misleading Claims Complaint

Case Event History

Tom’s of Maine Charcoal Toothpastes Misleading Claims Complaint

March 5, 2021

Tom’s of Maine, Inc. originated as a brand of supposedly “natural” personal care products, such as toothpaste, soap, and deodorant. The complaint for this class action brings suit against the company for deceptive marketing and misleading claims and omissions, in connection with the sale of toothpastes with activated charcoal.

Tom’s of Maine Charcoal Toothpastes Misleading Claims Complaint
Tags: Claims Unsupported By Scientific Evidence, Deceptive Advertising, Deceptive Labels, Untrue Product Claims