Woman Named Skye Sues Ben & Jerry's Over 'All Natural' Claim
We feel tricked by those Vermont cows who subtly imparted in their placid, bovine way the message that the ice cream they helped to create was oh-so-wholesome and natural. (Or not so subtly: on B&J's web site, the cow is currently sporting a free-trade cocoa beans bag on its back all Juan-Valdez-donkey style.) Likewise, Skye Astiana's udder disillusionment is palpable in the class-action complaint filed in federal court in San Francisco last week: "B&J prominently displayed the moniker 'all natural' on the label of its Ice Cream products, cultivating a healthy and socially conscious image in an effort to promote the sale of these products," the suit reads. In fact, the alkalized cocoa contains potassium carbonate -- a "man-made synthetic agreement." Say it ain't so!
The legal complaint goes into amusing detail about Skye's ice cream-buying habits: "She purchased on multiple occasions B&J's All Natural Chocolate Fudge Brownie Ice Cream as well as other of B&J's Ice Cream products at the Whole Foods grocery store near her residence in Mill Valley, California." We then are directed via a footnote that continues, "The other ice cream products include Cherry Garcia, Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Chubby Hubby, Chunky Monkey, and New York Super Fudge Chunk." (Look, Skye -- ice cream isn't made out of moonbeams and fairy dust.)
If you're not salivating by now, the suit then dissects the difference between natural cocoa and Dutch processed cocoa -- and how both of these are different from alkalized cocoa. The FDA doesn't consider anything alkalized to be a deserving bearer of the adjective "natural," the suit notes.
This being a class-action suit, you, too, can get in on the legal fun if you bought one of Ben & Jerry's "All Natural" products in California since September 2006. The suit alleges unfair business practices, false advertising, and unjust enrichment, and attempts to bar the company from printing "All Natural" on its label, recoup Skye's attorney fees, and win back the dollars she's spent on the offending Ben & Jerry's.
In short, this lady wants her ice cream money back.
H/T | Courthouse News