Getting Krafty

Three lawsuits wallop Kraft Foods

By
March 9, 2007

The megafoods company Kraft isn’t having a very good year.

Fresh off a complaint over its guacamole dip, which contains less than 2 percent avocado, Kraft was again sued for misrepresentation, this time over its Capri Sun juice pouches.

No, not because you could lose an eye trying to pierce the space-age drink pouch with its straw, but because Capri Sun sports the label “all natural.” The beverage, marketed to kids, actually contains such not-so-natural ingredients as high-fructose corn syrup.

In response to the lawsuits, Kraft agreed to change its labeling; the guacamole will now be labeled “guacamole flavor,” while the “all natural” tag will be removed from Capri Sun. (In response, the Capri Sun suit has been dropped, although the guacamole suit is ongoing.)

Now Kraft is under fire for using the phrase “Made with Real Kraft Cheese.” Many of the Kraft products bearing the phrase — including Easy Cheese, Oscar Mayer Cheesiest Cheese Dogs, and Cheez Whiz dip — don’t actually contain real cheese.

The labeling woes aren’t entirely Kraft’s fault. Blame it on the Food and Drug Administration, which has no guidelines for terms like “all natural” and “real,” though it does have strict regulations for the use of such terms as “organic” and “low-fat.”

According to an FDA spokesman, foods must be labeled “in a manner that is truthful and not misleading.” But by whose definition?

Regulation and truth in advertising is important. But ultimately, it’s our responsibility, as consumers, to find out what’s in the food we buy and eat.

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1. by Jack on Mar 12, 2007 at 8:46 PM PDT

It’s pretty sad that ANYONE would buy a product that has the phrase “Made with Real Kraft Cheese.”

2. by Gary on Mar 13, 2007 at 7:26 PM PDT

Since the FDA won’t act, we’ll have to act for them through vocal protest - and of course by not buying the products.

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