Gerber marketed its Graduates for Toddlers Fruit Juice Snacks in a very deceptive manner—decorating the package with pictures of oranges, cherries and strawberries when the leading ingredients are corn syrup and sugar.

In 2005, CSPI criticized this product as part of its round-up of deceptive marketing claims. "You can guess why Gerber doesn't call these things Corn Syrup Snacks-no parent would buy them," said CSPI Director of Legal Affairs Bruce Silverglade. This is candy, not fruit juice."

A private plaintiff filed a lawsuit about these claims, which were initially dismissed but later reinstated by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on December 22, 2008.

The Court of Appeals relied heavily on Friend of the Court briefs filed by CSPI and the California Attorney General. The court agreed the claims should proceed in federal district court, confirming the right of consumers to rely on claims made on the front of a box rather than assuming the company was lying and scouring the rest of the label to find the truth. CSPI is not involved in the case, now proceeding in federal district court.

Related Links and Downloads: