Frito-Lay’s Food Products
May 2017: A federal judge granted Frito-Lay’s motion for summary judgment finding that the named plaintiffs did not establish that they relied on the “0 grams trans fat” and natural claims.
October 2013: A federal judge dismissed some of the claims in a class-action lawsuit filed against Frito-Lay North America, Inc. in March 2012. The complaint alleges that the company misleadingly labels its food products – including various flavors of Lay’s potato chips, Tostitos chips, and Sunchips snacks – as “all natural” and containing “no MSG” when, according to the complaint, they actually contain synthetic or artificial ingredients and ingredients that are sources of MSG. In addition, the complaint alleges that the company labels products – including various flavors of Lay’s potato chips, Ruffles potato chips, Cheetos, and Fritos – as containing “0g Trans Fat” despite having total fat levels that render such a claim misleading.
The judge dismissed a number of claims for the following reasons:
- First, the judge dismissed claims made about products that the plaintiffs did not purchase because they failed to allege that such products were “substantially similar” to the ones they did buy.
- Second, the judge dismissed claims about statements made on the company’s website, finding that website statements do not constitute “labeling” under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
- Third, the judge dismissed claims about products labeled as “No MSG” before November 2012, when the FDA banned such statements when any ingredient in the food product is a source of MSG. Only claims about products labeled this way after November 2012 are actionable.
- Fourth, the judge dismissed claims based on purchases that occurred outside of California because the plaintiffs did not explain how a non-California plaintiff could sue under California law for purchases made outside the state.
(Wilson et al v. Frito-Lay North America, Inc., Case No. 12-cv-01586, N. D. CA.).
For more information about other class-action lawsuits filed against Frito-Lay and TINA.org’s coverage of the company, click here.