A proposed class action contends that Dr. Squatch men’s “natural” shampoo is misleadingly advertised since it contains a number of synthetic ingredients.
According to the 14-page case, a peek at the shampoo’s ingredients list reveals that the product contains, among other non-natural substances, decyl glucoside, which is made via chemical condensation, and glycerin, a factory-produced texturizer. The supposedly natural Dr. Squatch shampoo also contains coco-glucoside; “fragrance,” the many compounds of which are derived synthetically; citric acid; and xanthan gum, among a host of other substances, the suit says.
The filing argues that reasonable consumers understand the term “natural,” as it pertains to product labeling, to mean that the ingredients are derived from a natural source, have not undergone a chemical change, or have not undergone a chemical change “created by a naturally occurring biological process.” Guidance from regulatory agencies 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,” the case adds.
Consumers, the filing stresses, lack the meaningful ability to test for themselves or independently ascertain whether a product is truly natural, especially at the point of sale, and buyers cannot know the true nature of a product’s ingredients merely by reading the label, the lawsuit contends.
“That is why, even though the ingredients listed above are identified on the back of the Product’s packaging in the listed ingredients, the reasonable consumer would not understand—nor are they expected to understand—that these ingredients are synthetic,” the suit reads.
The complaint also alleges that the front-label statement “Oat Protein, Jojoba Oil, Honey” is misleading given the ingredients are present in the shampoo in amounts less than buyers expect.
The case claims that defendant Dr. Squatch, LLC has sold more of the shampoo – and at higher prices – than it would have “in the absence of this misconduct.”
The lawsuit looks to cover consumers in Illinois, North Dakota, Texas, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah, Nebraska, South Carolina, Kansas and Wyoming who bought Dr. Squatch men’s “natural” shampoo within the applicablestatute of limitationsperiod.
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