Dr. Berg Nutritionals faces a class action that claims the company falsely markets its electrolyte powder as naturally flavored given the products contain DL malic acid, an artificial flavoring derived from petrochemicals.
Dr. Berg Nutritionals faces a proposed class action that claims the company falsely markets its electrolyte powder as naturally flavored given the products contain DL malic acid, an artificial flavoring derived from petrochemicals.
According to the 22-page lawsuit, Dr. Berg Nutritionals sells its Original Keto Electrolyte powder with a front-label message that reads “No Artificial Anything!” The dietary supplement powder comes in seven flavors—raspberry and lemon, lemonade, grape, strawberry lemonade, orange, pomegranate and cherry, and tangerine—and each variety features an image of its corresponding fruit on the front panel, the suit says. Moreover, the product descriptions on the company’s Amazon store reinforce that the powders contain “Zero Artificial Ingredients,” the case adds.
In spite of these representations, the electrolyte powders are actually flavored using DL malic acid, a synthetic additive manufactured from petrochemicals, the complaint alleges. Although there is a naturally occurring type of malic acid, the form allegedly used by the defendant to flavor its products is produced from components of gasoline and lighter fluid and chemically processed in petrochemical plants, the filing claims.
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“DL malic acid is not a ‘natural flavor’ … and is not derived from a fruit or vegetable or any other natural source,” the lawsuit reads.
By law, if a food product’s primary flavor is not produced by the named flavor ingredient and is instead reinforced by an artificial additive—as is allegedly the case here—the front label must prominently disclose that the product is “artificially flavored,” the suit contends.
The ingredients lists on the products’ back panels mislead consumers because they do not specify that the dietary supplements contain DL malic acid and simply indicate the presence of “malic acid”—the additive’s generic name, the complaint charges.
Consumers are increasingly willing to pay premium prices for “clean label” foods—products that are all-natural, unprocessed, or free of artificial ingredients, the filing says.
The plaintiff, a California resident who purchased the electrolyte powders in tangerine, raspberry and lemon, and pomegranate and cherry flavors in October 2022, saw the representations on the products’ labels and the Amazon store and reasonably assumed the dietary supplements contained only natural flavorings, the suit claims.
The case contends that, like other consumers who were allegedly misled, the plaintiff would not have paid as much or purchased the electrolyte powders at all if he had known they were artificially flavored using DL malic acid.
The lawsuit looks to represent anyone residing in California who bought any flavor of Dr. Berg Nutritionals Original Keto Electrolyte powder since January 17, 2019.
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Camp Lejeune residents now have the opportunity to claim compensation for harm suffered from contaminated water.