Coca-Cola is facing its third lawsuit in as many months, this time over the claims that its products are free from preservatives and artificial flavors, despite containing phosphoric acid, which is both, reports Food Navigator.
The suit was filed on October 28 in the Northern District of California by plaintiffs Ayanna Nobles and Julia Hughes. According to the plaintiffs, “Certain Coca-Cola containers…contain the affirmative statement that there are ‘no artificial flavors, no preservatives added.’ This statement is false.” And the plaintiffs add that Coca-Cola intentionally fails to disclose “that phosphoric acid is used in Coca-Cola as either an artificial flavoring and or as a chemical preservative.”
Because phosphoric acid is not derived from a natural source, “a spice, fruit, vegetable, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf, meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy products or fermentation products,” reports Food Navigator, the ingredient is technically an artificial flavor. That it’s also being used as a means to prevent spoilage, means that it’s also considered a chemical preservative, the plaintiffs claim.
This is just the latest suit filed against Coca-Cola. A suit was filed in Los Angeles by Paul Merritt earlier in the month on similar grounds. Manufacturers using claims along the lines of “natural” or “all-natural” have been targeted by outraged consumers in recent years. Coca-Cola’s biggest competitor, PepsiCo, recently settled a lawsuit over allegations that its Naked Juice brand contained synthetic and genetically modified ingredients despite “natural” claims.
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