Target: John Roberts, Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court
Goal: Thank the Supreme Court for ruling to allow a lawsuit against misleading product labeling to proceed
A recent US Supreme Court ruling could have a major effect on the accuracy of product labeling, forcing food companies to commit to more honest advertising. Juice makers POM Wonderful recently sued Coca-Cola for labeling a beverage as “Pomegranate Blueberry” despite the fact that it contains less than one percent of either fruit (the remainder is largely grape and apple juice). While this may seem a somewhat innocent deception the lawsuit could push companies to be more honest about their products’ ingredients.
Although lower courts ruled that the beverage’s labeling was compliant with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) standards, the eight Supreme Court justices reversed this ruling and allowed the civil lawsuit to proceed. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy called Coca-Cola’s labeling “misleading” and “deceptive,” saying that he’d fallen for the beverage’s deceptive claims himself.
Ironically, POM Wonderful is no stranger to false or misleading advertising. The company was barred in the past from making unsubstantiated claims after stating that its products treated and prevented heart disease, erectile dysfunction and prostate cancer. None of these claims had been evaluated by the FDA. The Supreme Court’s ruling will likely impact both companies now involved in the civil lawsuit against Coca-Cola.
Amidst ever-growing uproar against purposely misleading or preferential labeling–like GMO products not being labeled as such–this lawsuit could positively affect the way food companies advertise their products. Thank the Supreme Court for ruling to protect consumers’ right to know what they are purchasing.
Dear Chief Justice Roberts,
The Supreme Court’s recent ruling to allow POM Wonderful to sue Coca-Cola for false advertising stands to positively impact how food companies promote their products. Current FDA standards used control the accuracy of food labeling often allow claims that are deliberately misleading. With only 0.5 percent of the beverage actually containing the juice the product’s name states, Coca-Cola’s “Pomegranate Blueberry” drink is a prime example of that inaccuracy.
While the argument could be made that consumers should be responsible for what they ingest, with the plethora of options on the shelf companies should not be allowed to intentionally mislead consumers. I applaud your decision to allow the lawsuit against Coca-Cola to proceed, as it could have a serious impact on the future of food product advertising.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Hans via Pixabay