Ghost Greens Supplements Falsely Advertised as ‘Naturally Flavored,’ Class Action Alleges
by Erin Shaak
Helems v. Ghost LLC
Filed: May 13, 2022 ◆§ 3:22-cv-00674
A class action alleges Ghost Greens supplements were falsely advertised as “Naturally Flavored” since they contain an undisclosed artificial flavoring agent.
A proposed class action alleges Ghost Lifestyle has false advertised its Ghost Greens dietary supplements as “Naturally Flavored” since they contain an artificial flavoring agent not disclosed on product labels.
The 21-page case claims that defendant Ghost LLC, who as Ghost Lifestyle sells a blend of “superfood” workout and gut health supplements that come in lime, guava and iced tea lemonade flavors, has misleadingly represented the products as containing only natural flavors. According to the case, however, the supplements contain malic acid, a synthetic petrochemical that lends the products a sweet and tart flavor.
The lawsuit argues that consumers would not have purchased the Ghost Greens products, or would have paid less, had they known the supplements contained an artificial flavoring agent.
Per the case, Ghost Lifestyle has labeled and advertised its Ghost Greens dietary supplements as naturally flavored in an attempt to appeal to consumers who seek out natural food products.
The suit says that although there exists a natural form of the malic acid identified in the products’ ingredients list, “it is extremely expensive to formulate” in large quantities and typically not used in mass-produced foods. According to the lawsuit, the malic acid used in the Ghost Greens supplements is the synthetic version, known as d-l malic acid.
“This type of malic acid is manufactured in petrochemical plants from benzene or butane—components of gasoline and lighter fluid, respectively—through a series of chemical reactions, some of which involve highly toxic chemical precursors and byproducts,” the complaint states.
The case argues that because malic acid is used to “simulate, resemble or reinforce” the products’ characterizing flavors—i.e., lime, guava or iced tea lemonade—its presence must be disclosed on the supplements’ front labels as either an artificial or natural flavor. In this case, the lawsuit says, the products’ front label must “prominently inform” consumers that the foods are artificially flavored since they contain artificial malic acid.
The suit alleges consumers reasonably relied on the defendant’s front-label claims regarding the Ghost Greens’ flavoring and were thus deceived into paying a premium price for a supplement that was not worth as much as its represented value.
The lawsuit looks to represent anyone in California who purchased the Ghost Greens supplements within the last four years.
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