A proposed class action alleges the “no artificial flavors” claim found on labels of Nature Made fruit-flavored gummy multivitamins is “false, deceptive, and misleading” given the product contains artificial flavoring ingredients.
The 22-page complaint contends that the labeling of the multivitamins, which includes representations that the product contains no artificial flavors, synthetic dyes, high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners, leads buyers to expect the presence of only natural fruit flavors. In truth, the suit says, the Nature Made multivitamins contain a synthetic version of malic acid, an ingredient used to impart a sour or tart taste.
Per the case, the multivitamins contain “more malic acid than natural flavors,” and the product’s ingredients list, the complaint relays, does not inform buyers that the vitamins’ flavoring comes from the artificial version of the flavoring agent.
“Instead of listing DL-Malic Acid, Defendant lists ‘Malic Acid,’ in violation of regulations that ingredients must be listed by their specific, and not general name,” the suit specifies.
The lawsuit says that although L-malic acid occurs naturally in certain fruits and is known for providing sweetness and tartness, D-malic acid does not occur naturally and is most commonly found as a“racemic” mixtureknown as DL-malic acid. Per the case, DL-malic acid is made commercially from “petroleum products” via a “high-pressure, high-temperature, catalytic process” and is used in the Nature Made multivitamins to “create, enhance, simulate, and/or reinforce” the sweet and tart flavor consumers associate with fruits.
Although defendant Pharmavite LLC could have added naturally extracted L-malic acid to the multivitamins, the company chose to use the synthetic variety of the flavoring agent “because it was likely cheaper or more accurately resembled the natural fruit flavors than citric acid or other acids,” the lawsuit says. The company “knew or should have known” that DL-malic acid is not naturally occurring and that, by adding the ingredient to the multivitamins, their natural flavorings would be fundamentally altered, such that the product cannot be represented accurately as having no artificial flavors.
Moreover, the case contends that the ingredients of the Nature Made multivitamins are declared on the back label in a manner that is “misleading and contrary to law,” in particular because “malic acid,” the ingredient’s generic name, is listed instead of “DL-malic acid,” its specific name.
The filing goes on to argue that consumers could not learn that the malic acid disclosed in the multivitamins’ ingredients list is artificial “without a chemistry kit and detailed knowledge of the relevant regulations.” The value of the Nature Made multivitamins was “materially less” than its value as represented by Pharmavite, the case says.
The lawsuit looks to represent consumers in Illinois, Arkansas, Iowa, Wyoming, Texas, Nebraska, South Dakota, West Virginia, Utah, Idaho, Alaska and Montana who bought Nature Made fruit-flavored gummy multivitamins within the applicablestatute of limitationsperiod.
Get class action lawsuit news sent to your inbox – sign up for ClassAction.org’s free weekly newsletter here.
Camp Lejeune residents may soon have the opportunity to claim compensation for harm suffered from contaminated water.