Sugar Association files suit against J&J/McNeil

Jan 31, 2005

The Sugar Association has filed a lawsuit against chemical sweetener manufacturer Johnson & Johnson/McNeil for claims made about its artificial sweetener Splenda. In its advertisements and on its product packaging, Johnson & Johnson/McNeil claims that, "Splenda is made from sugar, so it tastes like sugar." According to the suits, statements like this mislead consumers into thinking that Splenda is natural sugar without calories.

But the plaintiff claims Splenda is not natural and does not taste like sugar. The sweetness of Splenda derives from a chlorocarbon chemical that contains three atoms of chlorine in every one of its molecules.

Five separate lawsuits across the U.S. have been filed thus far, three state consumer class action suits and two independent federal suits. The complaints focus on violations of the federal Lanham Act and violations of Florida and California statutes, all of which are designed to protect consumers against misleading corporate statements.

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