Cargill Inc. has agreed to settle a proposed class action lawsuit alleging it misled consumers into believing its Truvia stevia sweetener is “natural,” even though the main ingredients are “highly processed” and/or derived from GMOs.
In a motion filed September 19, plaintiffs Molly Martin and Lauren Barry asked the Court to preliminary approve the proposed Truvia class action settlement, which will pay out $5 million in cash and vouchers to consumers who purchased certain Truvia products.
Consumers covered by the Truvia class action settlement will include those who purchased 40-count and 80-count packages of Truvia Natural Sweetener packets, and any sizes of the Truvia Natural Sweetener spoonable jars and baking blends, since July 1, 2008.
Under the proposed class action settlement agreement, Class Members will be eligible to claim a cash refund or voucher based on the amount of money they paid for Truvia products during the Class Period. For example, consumers who spent $72.00 or more, or who purchased 12 or more Truvia products, can claim a $72 cash refund or vouchers valued at $120. Consumers who purchased between 1 to 2 Truvia products, or spent less than $18, will be able to claim a $10 cash refund or $18 in vouchers.
Despite agreeing to the class action settlement, Cargill does not admit any liability and says it “continues to deny that its marketing, advertising, and/or labeling of [Truvia] is false, deceptive, or misleading to consumers or violates any legal requirement.”
Cargill is facing a similar class action lawsuit that was filed in July by Hawaii plaintiff Denise Howerton. Cargill filed a motion to stay the proceedings on Howerton v. Cargill until the Court decides the current case.
A Preliminary Approval Hearing is set for October 23, 2013.
The Truvia False Advertising Class Action Lawsuit is Martin, et al. v. Cargill Inc., Case No. 13-cv-2563, U.S. District Court of Minnesota.
UPDATE: The $5 million settlement was rejected by a federal judge and a new $6.1 million class action settlement was reached. Instructions on how to file a claim for the Truvia class action settlement are available here or visit www.TruviaSweetenerLawsuit.com for details.
UPDATE 2: A federal judge granted final approval to the Truvia class action settlement on Nov. 26, 2014.
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