A Florida woman has hit Fullbar LLC with a class action lawsuit alleging that it engaged in deceptive marketing for saying its Fullbar protein bars are “All Natural” or “100% Natural” when they contain synthetic and artificial ingredients.
Plaintiff Elizabeth Livingston alleges that the Fullbar products contain synthetic or artificial ingredients such as maltodextrin, potato maltodextrin, soy protein concentrate, soy protein isolate and/or soy lecithin. She claims that she purchased Fullbar products about 10 to 15 times from January to August.
Maltodextrin is added to products to act “as a thickener or filler. It is a synthetic factory-produced texturizer that is created by complex processing that does not occur in nature,” the all natural lawsuit explains.
Soy protein concentrate, soy protein isolate, and soy lecithin are grown from genetically modified (GMO) seeds “in which DNA splicing has been used to place genes from another source into a plant.”
Livingston says in the class action lawsuit that “because GMOs have been modified through biotechnology, the products are not ‘100% Natural.'”
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Fullbar lawsuit explains, “has loosely defined the term ‘natural’ as a product that ‘does not contain added color, artificial flavors, or synthetic substances.”
According to the FDA definition, a synthetic ingredient is a “substance that is formulated or manufactured by a chemical processor by a process that chemically changes a substance extracted from naturally occurring plants, animal or mineral sources.”
“The products are not ‘natural’ and certainly not ‘100% Natural'” because they contain these ingredients, Livingston says in her all natural class action lawsuit.
The Fullbar class action lawsuit includes, but is not limited to chocolate peanut butter, double chocolate, peanut butter crunch, cranberry almond, and chocolate caramel flavored Fullbars.
She says that the “all-natural” and “100% Natural” claims are written “on the front and back packaging for the products.”
In addition, the “all-natural” claims are also “prominently displayed … on the front of each individual packaging of the product.”
“The ‘100% Natural’ claim is false, misleading, and likely to deceive reasonable consumers in the same respect — that being due to their unnaturalness for containing unnatural, synthetic, and/or artificial ingredients,” according to the Fullbar class action lawsuit.
“Defendant unlawfully markets, advertises, sells and distributes the product” in stores in both Florida and across the United States.
“Unfortunately, for plaintiff and members of the class, they were charged a [premium price] for the product over and above other comparable products that do not claim to be ‘All Natural’ or ‘100% Natural,'” the deceptive marketing class action lawsuit states.
Livingston’s charges against Fullbar includes a violation of Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, negligent misrepresentation, breach of express warranty, violation of the Magnusson-Moss Warranty Act, and unjust enrichment.
She wants equitable relief, declaratory relief, restitution and damages for being deceived into purchasing the product that she claims she was led to believe is all-natural.
Livingston is proposing a Florida Class and a Nationwide Class. The Florida Class is for all Florida residents who bought the Fullbar products from Oct. 23, 2010 until the date that the Class Members are officially notified of the class action lawsuit, if it’s approved. The Nationwide Class applies to all U.S. residents who purchased the protein bars during the same time period.
Livingston is represented by Joshua H. Eggnatz and Michael J. Pascucci of the Eggnatz Law Firm.
The Fullbar All Natural Class Action Lawsuit is Livingston v. Fullbar LLC, Case No. 0:14-cv-62430, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
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