Chobani and Fage yogurts at center of lawsuits involving sugar claims and 'Greekness'

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(NaturalNews) Two yogurt producers typically heralded in the health world as having healthy foods, Chobani and Fage, are facing a lawsuit by individuals claiming that customers are being misled by the products. (1) In two separate class action suits, Barry Stoltz of Westchester, New York, and Allan Chang of Queens, New York, are suing the producers for issues involving "0%" labeling, saying that such phrasing falsely conveys that their products do not have sugar, which they do.

The plaintiffs have issue with the fact that "evaporated cane juice" is listed in nutritional information, as is the case with Chobani, but is not listed in its ingredients. Because evaporated cane juice is sugar, plaintiffs maintain that this wording is essentially deceiving customers.

The "evaporated cane juice" issue

Information from the suit explains: "Defendants purposefully misrepresented and continue to misrepresent to consumers that their products contain 'evaporated cane juice' even though 'evaporated cane juice' is not 'juice' at all -- it is nothing more than sugar dressed up to sound like a healthier sweetener." (1) The suits draw parallels between ice cream bars and a cup of Chobani, making the argument that some junk foods have even less sugar than the healthy-sounding yogurts.

In fact, it's no secret that many yogurt brands actually house more sugar than one may think. Many have been compared to an unhealthy Twinkie, noting that some yogurts have more, or close to the same, sugar content than a Twinkie. Making the list of high-sugar yogurts were strawberry-flavored original Yoplait yogurt (26 grams of sugar per 6-oz. serving) and Stonyfield Organic Smooth & Creamy Lowfat French Vanilla (29 grams of sugar per 8-oz. serving). (2) According to the American Heart Association, men should have no more than 36 grams of sugar on a daily basis and women should not have any more than 20 grams daily. (2)

The "Greek" issue

Finally, the defendants are suing on the grounds that the yogurts, while they are called "Greek," actually have nothing to do with being made in Greece, saying this is yet another way consumers are being deceived. The suit explains that "none of the products sold in the U.S. are made in Greece or made by Greek nationals."

However, a rep for Chobani countered, "Much like English muffins and French fries, our fans understand Greek Yogurt to be a product description about how we authentically make our yogurt and not about where we make our yogurt in Upstate New York and Idaho." (3)

In California, a similar case was recently dismissed, because evidence did not show that customers were buying yogurt due to any misunderstood health claims. (1)

The Chobani rep went on to say, "We have proudly built Chobani on being truly authentic and totally transparent, and fully stand behind our products and our craft." (3)

Sources for this article include:




About the author:
A science enthusiast with a keen interest in health nutrition, Antonia has been intensely researching various dieting routines for several years now, weighing their highs and their lows, to bring readers the most interesting info and news in the field. While she is very excited about a high raw diet, she likes to keep a fair and balanced approach towards non-raw methods of food preparation as well.

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