A Colgate class action lawsuit claims Tom’s of Maine brand toothpaste is not “natural,” despite label representations.
Three years ago, Tom’s of Maine settled a class action lawsuit making similar claims, and as part of the settlement, agreed to cease advertising the toothpaste as “all natural,” for a period of three years.
According to the new class action lawsuit, the toothpaste makers returned to old marketing tactics as soon as legally allowed.
The Tom’s of Maine class action lawsuit was filed by Angela Munsell who says since at least the end of 2015, she regularly purchased Tom’s of Maine toothpaste. Allegedly, she purchased various flavors including Cinnamon Clove and Sweet Mint toothpaste. According to Munsell, the toothpaste was marked as “natural” and this played a role in her decision to purchase the product.
The Tom’s of Maine toothpaste class action states that despite being labeled as “natural” the products actually contain glycerin, propylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulfate, aluminum cholorohydrate, xantham gum, sorbitol, ascorbic acid and xylitol.
Munsell says she specifically purchased the Tom’s of Maine toothpaste because she wanted to buy natural products. Her natural toothpaste class action lawsuit goes on to state that Munsell was willing to pay a premium price because the Tom’s of Maine products were marketed as natural.
Allegedly, the companies attempt to use marketing to target consumers who make purchasing decisions based on health and environmental concerns.
Munsell claims that advertising the toothpaste as “natural” allows them to charge extra for the product, because consumers associate all natural products with high quality and are willing to pay more for them. The natural ingredients toothpaste class action lawsuit notes that around the world, there is a growing market for natural products.
However, the Tom’s of Maine class action lawsuit argues that consumers do not receive the benefit of their bargain when they purchase Tom’s of Maine toothpaste. Allegedly, had they known that they contain synthetic ingredients they might not have paid as much as they did for it or would not have purchased the toothpaste at all.
Munsell seeks to represent herself and all other customers who purchased Tom’s of Maine toothpaste in either Maine or Rhode Island. She aims to hold the companies liable for false advertising and misleading customers.
Have you ever purchased a product believing it to be natural, and then found out that it was not all natural? Share your experiences in the comment section below.
Munsell is represented by Edward F. Haber, Ian J. McLoughlin, and Adam M. Stewart of Shapiro Harbor & Urmy LLP.
The Tom’s of Maine Natural Toothpaste Class Action Lawsuit is Angela Munsell v. Colgate-Palmolive Co., et al., Case No. 1:19-cv-12512-GAO, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts.
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