(NaturalNews) If you buy fruit juices at your local grocery store, you might notice the Welch's brand juices sold in refrigerated cartons. Welch's calls them "refrigerated cocktails" and offers exotic-sounding flavors like Strawberry Peach, Dragon Fruit Mango Cocktail and Orange Pineapple Apple.
These products are aggressively marketed with pictures of splashy fruit and loud label claims like "Fruity and Refreshing!" But what Welch's doesn't reveal anywhere except in the fine print on its ingredients label is that these juice cocktails contain more high fructose corn syrup than fruit.
In fat, they contain so much high fructose corn syrup that the front label should actually show chunks of corn rather than the fruit they currently depict.
Is this corn syrup derived from GMO corn? See below for more...
Deceptively marketed and labeled
A Natural News investigation concludes that Welch's refrigerated cocktails are deceptively labeled and marketed. The Welch's website, for starters, hides the ingredients list from consumers, showing nutrition facts but not ingredients. High fructose corn syrup only shows up under ingredients, not nutrition facts.
The front label of Welch's Strawberry Peach product uses the phrase, "Fruity & Refreshing" in a prominent position on the label. But if this claim were accurate, it would actually say, "Corny & Refreshing" because it's made more from corn than fruit.
The front label (see picture below) also intentionally leaves out any mention of corn syrup even though high fructose corn syrup is the second most prominent ingredient of the product, right after water. It says:
Strawberry Peach flavored fruit juice cocktail blend made with apple, pear, strawberry and peach juices from concentrate.
No mention of corn.
The back label (see image below) begins with a giant, all-caps "LOVE" statement, jumping on the bandwagon of trying to associate LOVE with its product, even though no rational person would use the word "LOVE" to describe a highly refined liquid sugar that has been repeatedly linked to diabetes and obesity.
Welch's annual report admits it is aware that consumers seek to avoid HFCS
All this corn syrup is being pushed as fruit juice despite the fact that Welch's 2012 annual report openly admits the company is fully aware that consumers are attempting to avoid high fructose corn syrup.
"Our mid-priced essentials line continued to grow in FY '12 with its powerful message -- no high fructose corn syrup."
The context of this statement clearly implies that "no high fructose corn syrup" is a benefit of its essentials line of products. Yet, simultaneously, Welch's continues to promote other products that contain alarming proportions of HFCS while avoiding any mention of corn on the front label.
80% water and corn syrup!
Only when you get to the back label do you learn that these Welch's fruit juice cocktails -- which are heavily adorned with photos and words that describe and imply "fruit" -- are actually 80% water and corn syrup.
The first two ingredients are Filtered Water (i.e. tap water) and High Fructose Corn Syrup. An easy-to-miss bit of text admits, "Contains 20% juice," meaning 80% of the beverage is not juice.
Nowhere does the product claim to be free of GMOs. As the vast majority of high fructose corn syrup produced in North America is derived from genetically modified corn, it is very likely that the HFCS used by Welch's is actually GMO. A genetic test would not confirm this, however, as the heavy processing of HFCS destroys genetic integrity, rendering genetic ID tests useless.
Here are the photos of the label: (story continues below)
Deceptive labeling pushes more high fructose corn syrup to children
Welch's fruit juice cocktails are depicted as if they were nothing but fruit juice. The photos, descriptive text and website text all imply they are made of nothing other than fruit juices. Nowhere on the product front label, website or promotional materials is corn depicted at all.
When consumers shop for fruit juices at their local grocery stores, they are easily misled by deceptive labeling practices such as those used by Welch's. Consumers use the pictures and prominent text on the front of the product as their primary cues to determine the composition of the product, and if that product label primarily depicts fruit and fruit juices, a typical consumer will incorrectly assume the product is primarily made of fruit and fruit juices. That same consumer will typically have no idea the product contains more corn derivatives than fruit juice.
Most consumers -- especially parents -- are actively trying to avoid high fructose corn syrup. This is often the reason why they choose fruit juice instead of sodas, as a matter of fact. Yet if they reach for Welch's juice cocktails, they are getting the exact same refined liquid sugar they were trying to avoid by choosing juice instead of soda!
Here at Natural News, we think Welch's should be ashamed of itself for pushing water and high fructose corn syrup as a fruit juice beverage. Its labeling practices deceive rather than inform consumers.
We urge you to call the Welch's comment line at 1-800-340-6870 and demand they stop selling high fructose corn syrup as fruit juice.
In addition to his lab work, Adams is also the (non-paid) executive director of the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center (CWC), an organization that redirects 100% of its donations receipts to grant programs that teach children and women how to grow their own food or vastly improve their nutrition. Click here to see some of the CWC success stories.
With a background in science and software technology, Adams is the original founder of the email newsletter technology company known as Arial Software. Using his technical experience combined with his love for natural health, Adams developed and deployed the content management system currently driving NaturalNews.com. He also engineered the high-level statistical algorithms that power SCIENCE.naturalnews.com, a massive research resource now featuring over 10 million scientific studies.