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A federal judge ruled that General Mills will have to face a class-action lawsuit alleging Cheerios Protein is “falsely and misleadingly marketed.”
Despite its attempt to dismiss the case, General Mills will now have to face a class-action lawsuit that alleges it falsely marketed its Cheerios Protein breakfast cereal as a healthier, high-protein alternative to Cheerios, a federal judge ruled on August 10.
Last November, nonprofit consumer advocacy group the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI; Washington DC) filed a lawsuit suggesting “Cheerios Protein has only a smidgen more protein per serving than Cheerios” and includes 17 times more sugar than original Cheerios. Cheerios Protein includes 7 grams of protein per serving compared to 3 grams for original Cheerios, but CSPI says the difference in actually negligible when you consider that the Cheerios Protein listed serving size is twice as big as it is for original Cheerios.
General Mills has not commented on the latest ruling, but when the lawsuit was first filed last year it said that Cheerios Protein is denser than Cheerios and actually offers 18% more protein by weight than original Cheerios.
In his August-10 decision, U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson said he was “skeptical” the lawsuit would succeed, but ruled that consumers may pursue the claim that that the product was misbranded and General Mills violated the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act, Reuters reports.
Nutritional Outlook Magazine