Kellogg's Kashi labeling will no longer include "All Natural" or "Nothing Artificial," the cereal giant announced Thursday.
The removal of the product description stems from a 2011 lawsuit filed in California which accused Kellogg of mislabeling its Kashi products "All Natural" and "Nothing Artificial." The cereal line uses a variety of artificial ingredients.
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Among the ingredients named in the suit were pyridoxine hydrochloride, calcium pantothenate and soy oil processed using hexane, a component of gasoline, The New York Times reported
Kellogg also agreed to $5 million to the plaintiffs to settle the suit.
Despite their decision to revise the product's labeling and settle the class action suit, Kellogg spokeswoman Kris Charles said the company stands behind Kashi's labels.
"We stand behind our advertising and labeling practices," she said on Thursday. "We will comply with the terms of the settlement agreement by the end of the year and will continue to ensure our foods meet our high quality and nutrition standards while delivering the great taste people expect."
The lawsuit against Kellogg is one of several such suits in which consumers have challenged the labeling practices of companies, alleging the product descriptions do not match the actual ingredients.
Mounting legal challenges have prompted several companies to remove the word "natural" from packaging. For example, PepsiCo Inc. altered the name of its "Simply Natural" line of Frito-Lay line of chips to "Simply," and its "Natural Quaker Granola" to "Simply Quaker Granola," The Associated Press noted
"Companies are now trying to find words other than 'all natural' since that's been the subject of so many lawsuits," Liv Kiser, an attorney whose firm focuses on health and wellness marketing compliance, told USA Today
. "We can expect companies to react to this by using fewer absolutes on their labels."
The Food and Drug Administration has yet to develop a definition for the term "natural"
when used to describe food products, with the agency writing on its website, "it is difficult to define a food product that is 'natural' because the food has probably been processed and is no longer the product of the earth."
Despite the hesitance in defining what exactly "natural" means in labeling food products, the FDA added that it would not object to the use of the term if it were used on products that did not "contain added color, artificial flavors, or synthetic substances."
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