Woman Sues Kraft Over Capri Sun Labels

The Associated Press
Monday, January 8, 2007; 9:06 PM

NORTHFIELD, Ill. -- A Florida woman is suing Kraft Foods Inc., accusing the Northfield-based company of mislabeling its Capri Sun juice drinks.

The lawsuit was filed Monday in a Palm Beach County court by Boynton Beach, Fla., resident Linda Rex and is backed by the advocacy group, the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

Both call the foil pouches "almost juice-less," and said the lunch box staple doesn't deserve its "all natural" title since it contains high-fructose corn syrup.

"Though Capri Sun claims to be 'All Natural,' its main flavoring would more accurately be called 'Fresh from the Factory,'" Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based organization said in a statement. "Let's put it this way: Unless you and your chemist friends are prepared to undertake a little Manhattan Project in your kitchen, you won't be brewing any high-fructose corn syrup from scratch anytime soon."

Rex said in a statement that she bought a pack of Capri Sun for a young relative, thinking the foil pouches were healthier than soft drinks.

"But when I got home and got out my glasses, I threw it in the garbage when I realized it contained high-fructose corn syrup and was nearly identical to soda," she said.

The company said it has been working for a year on a new package that removes the "All Natural" claim.

The new packaging is scheduled to go into production in about two weeks and will say that Capri Sun contains "No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives," according to a statement from Marc Firestone, Kraft's executive vice president for corporate and legal affairs.

"This new product description resonated well with consumers," Firestone said.

High-fructose corn syrup, a popular sweetener found in most soft drinks, is made from corn starch.

The Corn Refiners Association said high fructose corn syrup is a natural food product that contains no artificial materials or color additives.

"High fructose corn syrup, like table sugar and honey, is composed of fructose and glucose, which are found in many other naturally occurring foods," Audrae Erickson, president of the refiners association, said in a statement.

But the Center for Science in the Public Interest, which has sued Quaker Oats, Frito-Lay and other food companies for mislabeling food times, said corn syrup doesn't qualify as an "all-natural" ingredient because its chemical bonds are broken and rearranged in the manufacturing process.

Kraft shares fell 23 cents, or 0.7 percent, to close at $34.95 on the New York Stock Exchange.


On the Net:

Capri Sun: http://www.caprisun.com

Kraft Foods Inc.: http://www.kraft.com

© 2007 The Associated Press