A proposed class action alleges L.-brand “100% Organic” cotton core tampons are mislabeled since the product contains certain non-organic ingredients.
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The 12-page complaint says that despite the front-label promise that the tampons are entirely organic, they contain the non-organic ingredients polyester, glycerin, paraffin and titanium dioxide.
According to the suit, 80 percent of the tampons’ ingredients are “not cotton,” and 60 percent of the ingredients are “not organic,” as polyester and paraffin are derived from petroleum, and titanium dioxide is mined from ilmenite ore.
The filing argues that consumers understand that something touted as “100% Organic,” or with similar marketing terminology, means that the product is completely or entirely organic, and thus place extra value on items that are advertised as free from non-natural and synthetic substances. The marketing phrases included on the L. tampons’ packaging include “with BPA-Free Plastic Applicators” and “No Rayon, Chlorine Bleaching, Dyes or Fragrances,” the case relays.
The lawsuit says, however, that although it is “technically true” that the L. cotton core tampons contain no chlorine bleaching or dyes, the product’s color is “enhanced” instead through the addition of titanium dioxide, a “synthetically prepared” powder used as white pigment. Per the case, the use of titanium dioxide for whitening purposes serves to bolster the apparent quality of the tampons.
“Though titanium dioxide is neither a ‘dye’ nor ‘chlorine,’ it serves the identical purpose of those two compounds which is to make the Product appear to be higher quality than it is by enhancing the appearance of the cotton through whitening,” the filing states.
Further, the back-label description of titanium dioxide as "naturally occurring" is misleading in that when the substance is used commercially, it's produced through synthetic processes, resulting in a compound that is "distinct from its natural source," the case says.
According to the complaint, defendant This is L. Inc. has sold more of the tampons, and at higher prices, than it would have absent its apparently misleading product labeling.
The suit looks to cover consumers in Illinois, New Mexico, Kentucky, Virginia, Iowa, Idaho, Montana, Alabama, Louisiana and Alaska who bought L. “100% Organic” cotton core tampons within the applicable statute of limitations period.
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