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NewsBites June 2013 Issue

“All-Natural” Label OK for Bottled Tea with HFCS

The term “natural” on food labels, already meaningless from a nutrition standpoint, can be used even on processed foods, according to observers of a new US district court ruling. The judge threw out a lawsuit against the maker of AriZona Iced Teas, origi-nally filed in 2010, saying the plaintiffs were motivated primarily by money and failed to introduce “any evidence showing that HFCS (high-fructose corn syrup) or citric acid are artificial.” But the ruling may have ramifications beyond the specific ingredients in the bottled tea. One legal expert commented, “The judge basically said that just because something is processed doesn’t mean it isn’t ‘natural.’” The harshly worded ruling, which dashed the California plaintiffs’ hopes for a class-action case against Arizona Beverages USA and other companies, said they offered “not a scintilla of evidence.”

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