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Kraft Foods faces suit over "all natural" claim on Capri Sun drink

Friday, January 12, 2007 by: Jessica Fraser
Tags: Kraft, junk food, junk food claims

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(NewsTarget) A Florida resident, backed by consumer group Center For Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), recently filed a lawsuit against Kraft Foods for marketing its Capri Sun fruit drink as "all natural" despite the presence of high-fructose corn syrup.

Although Kraft has marketed its foil-packed lunchbox drink as "all natural" since its development in 1981, food and beverage manufacturers have recently faced increasing pressure to re-evaluate marketing practices that portray products as healthier for consumers than they really are.

According to the lawsuit, Kraft is tricking consumers into purchasing Capri Sun by marketing it as "all natural," though the CSPI said the drink was "almost juice-less."

Part of the problem is that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not have a clear definition of a "natural" product or ingredient, the CSPI said. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines a "natural" ingredient as not containing artificial or synthetic ingredients, and being minimally processed.

The FDA's current definition states that products can be called "natural" if they do not contain synthetic or artificial ingredients, and do not contain unexpected ingredients.

According to Michael Jacobson, executive director of CSPI, "high fructose corn syrup isn't something you could cook up from a bushel of corn in your kitchen, unless you happen to be equipped with centrifuges, hydroclones, ion-exchange columns, and buckets of enzymes."

Kraft announced earlier this week that it is in the process of changing the packaging of Capri Sun to read "No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives," instead of "all natural."

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