A proposed class action lawsuit was filed this month against Weleda, Inc., claiming it deceives health-conscious consumers by falsely labeling its personal care products as “Natural” or “Certified Natural” when they actually contain synthetic ingredients.
According to the suit, Weleda centers its marketing and advertising around these “natural” claims – leading the most reasonable consumers to believe the products do not contain synthetic substances.
The case argues, however, that many of Weleda’s “natural” facial care, body care, and baby care products do, in fact, contain a slew of synthetic ingredients.
According to the complaint, Congress has defined "synthetic" to mean “a substance that is formulated or manufactured by a chemical process or by a process that chemically changes a substance extracted from naturally occurring plants, animals, or mineral sources.”
“Natural” substances, on the other hand, are not chemically altered from their original state, the complaint claims. Consumers are willing to spend more on products made with natural ingredients because they are believed to be healthier and safer to use than synthetic products. The suit argues that Weleda has “capitalized” on this desire by falsely claiming on labels that its products are “natural” to entice consumers into not only buying the products, but paying a premium price for them.
The complaint claims at least 19 synthetic substances are found in Weleda’s products. It notes the following information about some of the ingredients:
Among these, the complaint also claims that lactic acid, stearic acid, cetearyl alcohol, citronellol, calcium chloride, benzyl benzoate, and zinc oxide are found in Weleda’s products.
The following products are named in the lawsuit:
The suit is seeking monetary relief for proposed class members and injunctive relief against Weleda to prohibit it from continuing its “deceptive” labeling practices.
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