December 6, 2022

Volume XII, Number 340

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December 06, 2022

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December 05, 2022

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Class Action Complaint filed in Eastern District of New York challenging “Natural” Dietary Supplements

The United States District Court of the Eastern District of New York received a class action complaint on May 31, 2022 regarding the usage of the term “natural” in Nordic Naturals’ dietary supplement products. Plaintiffs allege that use of “natural” for said products constitutes false advertising as the products contain synthetic ingredients, including but not limited to gelatin, soy lecithin, riboflavin, citric acid, and more. Plaintiffs argue that knowledge of the synthetic nature of the ingredients would require “a scientific investigation” beyond the knowledge of the reasonable consumer and that the average consumer would have a reasonable expectation that the dietary supplement products contained only natural ingredients.

“Natural” claims in food and dietary supplement labeling have often been a target for class action litigation. Our site has previously covered “natural” cases involving the term’s usage to describe lunch meats and baconapple sauce, vanilla flavoring in soy milk, and other products.

While FDA has never formally defined “natural” by regulation, the Agency has traditionally taken the position that term means that “nothing artificial or synthetic (including all color additives regardless of source) has been included in, or has been added to, a food that would not normally be expected to be in that food.” In response to several citizen petitions, as well as references in various Federal Court decisions requesting that the agency provide more formal guidance in this regard, FDA requested comments on the use of the term “natural” on food labeling in 2015.  The Agency received over 7,000 comments but has taken no formal action since the close of the comment period in May of 2016

© 2022 Keller and Heckman LLPNational Law Review, Volume XII, Number 161
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About this Author

Keller and Heckman offers global food and drug services to its clients. Our comprehensive and extensive food and drug practice is one of the largest in the world. We promote, protect, and defend products made by the spectrum of industries regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the European Commission and Member States authorities in the European Union (EU) and similar authorities throughout the world. The products we help get to market include foods, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, veterinary products, dietary supplements, and cosmetics. In addition...

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