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Center for Law in the Public Interest Sues Dr. Pepper

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According to articles in various news sources, the Center for Law in the Public Interest, an advocate for food safety, is suing Dr. Pepper Snapple Group Inc. for "touting an added antioxidant in some 7-Up varieties," per the Associated Press. Misleading advertising is the gist of the lawsuit, as the advertising "gives the impression the antioxidants are derived from fruit" rather than additives such as vitamins. The suit also puts forth that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) "prohibits companies from fortifying candies and soft drinks with nutrients."

According to a Reuters news feed in the New York Daily News, November 12, the suit says, "the company's advertising and packaging suggest that the drinks contain antioxidants from blackberries, cherries, cranberries, pomegranates and raspberries, rather than added Vitamin E." Whether or not health benefits are actually derived from the soft drink is another area of contention. Antioxidants, however, purportedly reduce damage to the human body’s cells produced by free radicals, which are believed to cause cancer.

Recently, the FDA did object to Coca Cola’s labeling in 2008 of its now defunct product, Diet Coke Plus that was supposed to have contained vitamins and minerals. The FDA thought it in appropriate to "fortify snack foods". (New York Daily News, 11/12/12) Snapple’s spokesperson Chris Barnes maintains that it’s just "another attempt by the food police to mislead consumers about soft drinks." (New York Daily News) Green v. Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc, U.S. District Court, Central District of California, No. 12-09567 promises to be interesting… if not fruitful.