“All Natural” and “100% Natural” will no longer be seen on some of the popular Kellogg’s cereal brands, including Kashi and Bear Naked brands, the company announced after settling a class-action lawsuit for more than $5 million.
The largest breakfast cereal manufacturer in the world faced a string of lawsuits in recent years, culminating into a single case in 2011 that cited consumer fraud and deception in labeling of its cereals as “natural” when in fact many contained synthetic and genetically modified ingredients, including pyridoxine hydrochloride, calcium pantothenate or hexane-processed soy oil.
According to Reuters, the settlement must be approved by “a federal judge in San Diego overseeing the case before the suit is dismissed.”
In a statement released by Kellogg last week, company spokesperson Kris Charles said the brand’s Kashi and Bear Naked lines "provide comprehensive information about our foods to enable people to make well-informed choices."
"We stand behind our advertising and labeling practices," she explained. "We will comply with the terms of the settlement agreement by the end of the year and will continue to ensure our foods meet our high quality and nutrition standards, while delivering the great taste people expect."
The settlement would require that Kashi products remove "All Natural" and "Nothing Artificial" from its product labels and advertising, and Bear Naked’s brand would remove "100% Natural" and "100% Pure and Natural" from some of its products.
Consumers who purchased the Kellogg's cereal products during a specific time period may be eligible for a portion of the $5 million settlement. Reuters reports that $0.50 per package will be available for Kashi products and a settlement fund of $325,000 “will be set up for Bear Naked consumer claims.”
Kellogg’s is the latest manufacturer to settle over claims that the misuse of the term “natural” was misleading. In a recent settlement agreement, PepsiCo agreed to pay $9 million over similar complaints about its Naked juice line, which was found to contain genetically modified and synthetic ingredients.
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