7UP Drops “All Natural” Claim

Center for Science in the Public Interest

WASHINGTON—Cadbury-Schweppes will no longer market 7UP as “All Natural” according to a statement put out by the company. Rather, the company will highlight ingredients “for which there is no debate” over whether they are natural, which will obviously exclude the controversial factory-made sweetener known as high-fructose corn syrup. The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) will drop a planned lawsuit against the company now that the misleading “all natural” claims will be halted. CSPI notified Cadbury-Schweppes of the possibility of a lawsuit in May and has discussed labeling issues with the company off and on since then.

“We are pleased that Cadbury-Schweppes has fixed what was a flawed and deceptive marketing campaign and that this issue was resolved without our actually suing,” said CSPI litigation director Steve Gardner. “We look forward to seeing exactly which words the company uses to describe its ingredients on labels and on marketing materials, but trust they won’t imply that high-fructose corn syrup is ‘natural.’”

High-fructose corn syrup is nutritionally similar to natural table sugar, which comes from sugar cane or sugar beets. But in to contrast to table sugar, high-fructose corn syrup is made through a complex chemical industrial process in which corn starch molecules are enzymatically reassembled into glucose and fructose molecules.

CSPI’s litigation unit has encouraged several major food companies, including Quaker, Frito-Lay, Procter & Gamble, Tropicana, and Pinnacle Foods, to halt deceptive labeling or marketing practices. KFC stopped using partially hydrogenated oils after being sued by CSPI, and Cadbury-Schweppes and other soda manufacturers avoided a CSPI-led lawsuit by agreeing to phase sugary sodas out of schools. In coming weeks and months CSPI may file previously announced lawsuits against Coca-Cola and Nestle (over Enviga, a deceptively labeled green tea drink positioned as a weight-loss aid) and Kellogg and Viacom (for marketing junk foods to young children).

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