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January 14, 2013
General Mills, Inc. has agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit involving its Strawberry Naturally Flavored Fruit Roll-Ups, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI).
In a press release last month, the consumer advocacy organization said General Mills agreed to omit images of strawberries on its new labels so long as the product does not contain the actual fruit. The fruit roll-ups are made with pears from concentrate, corn syrup, dried corn syrup, sugar, partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil and 2 percent or less various artificial and natural ingredients, CSPI noted.
General Mills also has agreed to disclose the actual percentage of fruit in its product while its label carries the claim, "Made with Real Fruit", according to CSPI, which represented a California woman who brought a lawsuit against the company.
The changes will take effect in 2014, CSPI said.
"We disagree with CSPI on the merit and substance of the case, but we both agreed to resolve the matter to avoid further litigation," General Mills said in an emailed statement Monday to FOOD PRODUCT DESIGN.
The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on behalf of Annie Lam and similarly situated persons. It alleged General Mills' fruit snacks were "little better than giving candy to children" in spite of statements claiming the products were nutritious.
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