NEW YORK (AP) — PepsiCo Inc. says it will no longer label its Naked juices as being ‘‘all natural,’’ after a lawsuit complained that the drinks contain ingredients that don’t fit that bill.
The company, based in Purchase, N.Y., is also paying $9 million to settle the lawsuit.
In an emailed statement, the company said it uses ‘‘an added boost of vitamins’’ in some of the drinks. But a lawsuit filed against the company noted that the vitamins are actually synthetic ingredients, including a fiber made by Archer Daniels Midland.
PepsiCo did not respond when asked whether those synthetic fibers are in fact included in the juices. The company’s statement said it will drop the use of the word ‘‘natural’’ until there is more regulatory guidance around the world.
The case highlights the confusion around the use of the word ‘‘natural’’ in in the industry. The Food and Drug Administration doesn’t currently have a definition for what constitutes a natural product. But it says that it doesn’t object to the term’s use if the food doesn’t have ‘‘added color, artificial flavors or synthetic substances.’’
Notably, the FDA says it’s difficult to define a food product that is natural, since it has likely been processed and is no longer a ‘‘product of the earth.’’
Michele Simon, a public health lawyer and critic of food industry marketing practices, noted that there are numerous cases making their way through the legal system because of food companies’ use of the word natural. She said the PepsiCo case was notable because the company was in essence addressing the murkiness of the word with the settlement.
For the rest of the story: http://www.boston.com/business/news/2013/07/26/pepsico-longer-call-naked-juices-natural/7jxhnD0ssLPauqRshdreCK/story.html