CSPI Says Vitaminwater Lawsuit Settlement is Not Enough to Protect Consumers

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Vitaminwater has always looked to be way healthier than it really is. In fact, the beverage, that’s loaded with health buzzwords like endurance, rescue, defense, and energy, has no more than 1 percent real juice. And while the Vitaminwater lawsuit recently reached a settlement, the Center for Science in the Public Interest isn't convinced.

Coca-Cola agreed to change the labeling and marketing of the beverage in a Vitaminwater lawsuit settlement recently. As part of the agreement, Coca-Cola will state the amount of calories in the whole bottle on the front of the label along with the statement “See nutritional facts for more detail.” And it also agreed to stop making statements about the drink’s health benefits. But CSPI stated after filing an objection to the lawsuit that it wasn’t enough.

“The agreement proposes a $1.2 million payment from Coca-Cola to the lawyers, but substantively only forbids Coca-Cola from making statements in connection with Vitaminwater that it had already stopped making. The agreement also forbids the plaintiffs and their lawyers from communicating about the settlement with any third party—including the news media—without the permission of Coca-Cola,” CSPI said in a statement

What’s more, the agreementdoes not forbid Vitaminwater from using health related buzzwords and naming various fruits that it claims to contain, according to CSPI.

"It's no wonder Coca-Cola is eager to enter into this particular settlement agreement," said CSPI litigation director Steve Gardner. "The agreement 'prevents' Vitaminwater labels from using a handful of statements that the company had long abandoned anyway. But it does nothing to prevent the kind of deception that continues to this very day on current Vitaminwater labels. And it gives a bunch of lawyers who don’t care about consumers' interests a million dollar payday. That’s a great deal for Coke and a few unprincipled lawyers, but no benefit at all for consumers."

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