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Coca-Cola agrees to change labels on Vitaminwater drinks

The the Center for Science in the Public Interest and two law firms sued Coca-Cola in 2009 to stop it from claiming the drinks had a variety of health benefits including reducing the risk of eye disease, promoting healthy joints and inducing relaxation — even though the drinks contain about 32 grams of sugar.

The class-action lawsuit said product labels mislead consumers with statements such as “vitamins + water = what’s in your hand,” “vitamins + water = all you need,” and “this combination of zinc and fortifying vitamins can … keep you healthy as a horse.”

Coca-Cola agreed to stop using the statements and will add the words “with sweeteners” on two places of each label. and display calorie counts more prominently, but will not owe damages to consumers who alleged they were misled into buying the drinks.

The settlement was approved by Magistrate Judge Robert Levy of the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

CSPI has campaigned to reduce the prevalence of added sugars in the American diet.

Food and beverage companies are often targeted in lawsuits claiming that their products are less healthy than advertised.

PepsiCo Inc in 2013 agreed to stop calling its “Naked” juices “all natural” as part of a $9m settlement.

Vitaminwater is part of a beverage category sometimes called “enhanced water”, filling a gap between soft drinks and water.


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