Trends / Sweeteners / Ingredients / News / Organic/All-Natural/Functional

Suit claims Nature Valley isn’t natural

CSPI points to use of HFCS, other ingredients in complaint

nature valley thinsWith a name like Nature Valley, it has to be natural, right? Well, what does “natural” mean exactly?

That’s the question asked in a lawsuit filed this week against Nature Valley parent company General Mills. The suit was filed by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) on behalf of two Californian women, who were seeking natural products as a result of medical advice.  

Specifically, the complaint claims that General MIlls’ use of ingredients such as high-fructose corn syrup, high-maltose corn syrup, and maltodextrin in Nature Valley products mean the brand’s products are not natural.

"High maltose corn syrup and maltodextrin are highly processed, do not exist in nature, and not even under the most elastic possible definition could they be considered 'natural,'" says Michael F. Jacobson, executive director of the CSPI.

General Mills says they are aware of a press release from the CSPI detailing the lawsuit, but they have not yet been served and declined to comment further.

High-maltose corn syrup and/or maltodextrin are in dozens of Nature Valley varieties including various flavors of Sweet & Salty Nut bars, Chewy Trail Mix bars, and Granola Thins. Packages for Dark Chocolate Granola Thins tout "[t]he uniquely delicate crunch of crispy granola paired with an irresistible, melt-in-your-mouth taste-all in a 100% natural square."

"My daughter's special diet requires that I select natural products and avoid artificial dyes, sweeteners, or additives—and I'm willing to pay a little bit more for products that are truly 'all natural,'" says Amy McKendrick, a resource teacher from Kern County, Calif., and a plaintiff in the suit. "Who would assume that a '100% Natural' product from a company called Nature Valley would have these factory-refined ingredients?"

CSPI says it privately raised concern with General Mills over Nature Valley "Natural" claims in July 2010. General Mills responded by indicating they would work to eliminate high-fructose corn syrup from the product line. While few, if any, Nature Valley products still contain high-fructose corn syrup, many still do contain high-maltose corn syrup and maltodextrin.

"Few companies would like to brag that their ingredients are 'fresh from the factory,' but that's exactly where high-maltose corn syrup and maltodextrin come from," says CSPI assistant director of litigation Seema Rattan. "General Mills is misleading consumers when it suggests otherwise."

The lawsuit was filed in United States District Court in the Northern District of California.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Candy Industry

Recent Articles by Crystal Lindell

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

A Venetian Carnival, a Jelly Belly sculpture and gourmet chocolates! Oh my!

Candy Industry takes you into the French Pastry’s School For the Love of Chocolate event in Chicago, held Feb. 25.

Candy Industry Magazine

Candy March 2015 Cover

March 2015

Check out some Chicago chocolatiers, a YouTube candy review sensation, Columbian cocoa, and more!
Table Of Contents Subscribe

Healthier Food Options

A recent Nielsen report shows that consumers are calling for healthier options from food manufacturers. Do you think consumers will actually buy healthier versions of their favorite candy and snacks if they’re made available?
View Results Poll Archive

Candy Industry Store

M:\General Shared\__AEC Store Katie Z\AEC Store\Images\Candy Industry\natural-food-flavors-colora.gif
Natural Food Flavors and Colorants

Although many foods are appealing, and even perceived as natural, in spite of containing synthetic additives, consumer increasingly prefer food products which are fully natural.

More Products

Candy Industry's Kettle Awards

Kettle Awards

Since 1946, Candy Industry magazine has recognized leaders in the U.S. confectionery industry with the highest recognition possible, the Kettle Award. The distinguished recipients have captured this most coveted award by not only excelling within their companies, but by contributing to the greater good of the industry. It’s virtually a who’s who of past and present professionals who have left their mark as confectioners and business mavens. Learn more about the voting process as well as the annual Kettle Awards Ceremony by visiting our Kettle Awards Website


fb40   twitter 40    youtube40    linked   Google+

Clear Seas Research

Clear SeasWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.