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General Mills Sued Again, This Time for Misleading Labels on Gluten-free Cheerios
Celiac.com 02/02/2016 - General Mills seems to be having a hard time catching a break lately, especially when it comes to their new gluten-free options.
After some minor good news that their new gluten-free versions of Cheerios breakfast cereal was driving a small increase in an otherwise falling cereal market, the company has found itself on the receiving end of several lawsuits.
In the latest lawsuit, a Kentucky woman is suing the cereal producer over what she claims are misleading labels on their gluten-free products, including gluten-free Cheerios.
In her class-action lawsuit filed Dec. 18 in the Eastern District of California, Jacklyn Haddix, on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated, alleges that General Mills, General Mills Sales, General Mills Operations, and Does 1-50, engaged in "unjust enrichment, breach of express warranty, negligence and violations of Kentucky and California consumer protection laws."
The suit states that after General Mills began to advertise and distribute its gluten-free Cheerios products throughout the U.S., in September, the Food and Drug Administration received consumer reports of adverse reactions from people who had eaten gluten free-labeled Cheerios.
On Oct. 5, after FDA tests of 36 Cheerios samples that certain samples contained gluten levels well above the mandated limit for products labeled gluten-free.
General Mills subsequently recalled 1.8 million boxes of Cheerios. Two days later, the company revealed finished product testing had not been performed on the recalled Cheerios, according to the suit.
Haddix and others in the suit seek "compensatory, exemplary, punitive, and statutory damages, plus return of purchase prices, interests, reimbursement, disgorgement, and attorney fees and costs" exceeding $5 million.
Stay tuned for more developments on this and other gluten-free product lawsuits.
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Jefferson Adams is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. His poems, essays and photographs have appeared in Antioch Review, Blue Mesa Review, CALIBAN, Hayden's Ferry Review, Huffington Post, the Mississippi Review, and Slate among others.
He is a member of both the National Writers Union, the International Federation of Journalists, and covers San Francisco Health News for Examiner.com.View all articles by Jefferson Adams
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