Pepsi's Naked Juice to Remove 'All Natural' from Packaging, Agrees to Test for GMO Ingredients
By HNGN Staff Reporter | Jul 26, 2013 03:13 PM EDT
As the battle against GMO ingredients continue, PepsiCo owned Naked juices are the latest to announce they will remove the term "all natural" from their packaging after a lawsuit complained that the drinks contain ingredients that don't fit that bill.
The California-based brand owned by food giant Pepsico recently settled a class action lawsuit that alleged the products were not natural or naked at all, but loaded with genetically modified soy and artificial sweeteners, LA Weekly reported.
The company, based in Purchase, N.Y., is also paying $9 million to settle the lawsuit.
The plaintiffs claimed that the juice's claims to be "all-natural" and "GMO free" were false and misleading. They urged the beverage company to remove the statements from their packaging in order to not confuse consumers. PepsiCo still maintains that the claims are true, Naked has agreed, as part of the settlement, to remove the "all natural" from their labels.
GMO stands for a Genetically Modified Organism which is a plant or animals that has been genetically engineered with DNA from bacteria, viruses or other plants and animals. Despite biotech industry promises, none of the GMO traits currently on the market offer increased yield, drought tolerance, enhanced nutrition, or any other consumer benefit, according to the Non GMO Project website.
Meanwhile, PepsiCo said it will hire an "independent tester" to confirm the accuracy of "non-GMO" claims on their label, according to Business Insider.
The case emphasizes the current confusion that exists in the industry surrounding the use of the word "natural". The Food and Drug Administration doesn't currently have a definition for what constitutes a natural product. But it says that it doesn't object to the term's use if the food doesn't have "added color, artificial flavors or synthetic substances."
Notably, the FDA says it's difficult to define a food product that is natural, since it has likely been processed and is no longer a "product of the earth."
PepsiCo did not confirm when the changes will be made to the Naked juice bottles. As of Friday, the website for Naked Juices still showed bottles with the words "all natural" on them.