BioSteel Sports Nutrition, Inc. faces a class action lawsuit that alleges harmful per- and polyfluoralkyl substances (PFAS), commonly known as “forever chemicals,” have been found in one of its sports hydration drinks.
BioSteel Sports Nutrition, Inc. faces a proposed class action lawsuit that alleges harmful per- and polyfluoralkyl substances (PFAS), commonly known as “forever chemicals,” have been found in one of its sports hydration drinks.
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The 47-page complaint says that the company “aggressively” markets its BioSteel blue raspberry-flavored sports drink as “clean,” nutritious, and free of sugar and artificial ingredients, and even promotes itself as the maker of the “healthiest and most trusted sports nutrition products on the planet.” However, independent testing by the plaintiff has revealed that the product contains PFAS, a group of harmful synthetic chemicals associated with a variety of adverse health and environmental effects, the lawsuit alleges.
Per the suit, PFAS are often referred to as “forever chemicals” because they accumulate in the body over time and can be toxic at even very low levels of exposure—almost zero, in some cases, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Exposure to PFAS can increase the risk of certain cancers and cause reproductive problems, developmental complications in children, and other negative health effects, the case explains.
The purportedly misleading advertising of BioSteel’s sports drink, which allegedly puts “hundreds of thousands of unsuspecting consumers” at risk of exposure to PFAS, flies in the face of the company’s self-image as a provider of healthy products made from “clean, quality ingredients” and “designed with sustainability in mind,” the complaint charges.
“The presence of PFAS is entirely inconsistent with Defendant’s uniform representations that the Product is clean, eco-friendly, and good for both consumers and the environment,” the filing reads.
The front and side panels of the sports drink’s packaging indicate that the product contains “essential electrolytes” and is free of sugar, preservatives, and artificial flavors and colors, the lawsuit says. The product’s packaging claims that the drink is “good for you and the environment” and makes no mention of the presence of harmful PFAS, the case relays.
According to the suit, the representations of the product as a nutritious sports drink are also reinforced on BioSteel’s website and social media accounts. For example, the company’s “Clean. Healthy. Hydration.” campaign on Instagram and YouTube markets the beverage to health-conscious consumers and even implies the product is suitable for children, the complaint says.
BioSteel’s alleged misrepresentation is an attempt to capitalize on popular demand among consumers for “free-from” products and maintain a competitive edge in the industry, the filing claims.
“Defendant is well aware of consumers’ desire to avoid potentially harmful chemicals, which is exactly why it has engaged in an aggressive, uniform marketing campaign intended to convince consumers that the Product is ‘clean,’” the complaint charges.
The plaintiff, a New York resident who has ordered BioSteel’s blue raspberry-flavored sports drink on Amazon.com on several occasions, believed based on the defendant’s representations that the product was not only safe for consumption, but good for her, the filing says. The woman claims she would not have paid as much for the sports drink, or bought it at all, had she known it contained toxic PFAS, the case relays.
The lawsuit looks to represent anyone in the United States who purchased the BioSteel blue raspberry-flavored sports drink for personal use and not for resale.
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