by: Mike Barrett
August 1, 2012
You may think that a food product gifted with the phrase “all natural” has, you know, all natural ingredients, but this unfortunately is not always the case. The latest falsely marketed product being exposed is Nature Valley’s granola bars, a food product undoubtedly chosen by countless individuals thanks to it being marketed as healthful. But the parent company of Nature Valley, General Mills, isn’t just being called out on it’s facade; two California mothers are actually suing General Mills, claiming the food company giant falsely advertised its Nature Valley products as natural when they really contain processed ingredients.
“Our Chewy Trail mix bars are made with delicious combinations of 100% natural ingredients like whole almonds, cranberries, peanuts, and pomegranate.” In addition to claiming “100% NATURAL” on the front of the package, this is how is how the company describes Nature Valley Chewy Trail Mix bars on labels. The problem? The product actually contains high-maltose corn syrup and maltodextrin, two not-so-natural ingredients.
“High maltose corn syrup and maltodextrin are highly processed, do not exist in nature and not even under the most elastic possible definition could they be considered ‘natural,‘ “ said Michael F. Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, an advocacy group that works on public health issues and is serving as co-counsel in the lawsuit.
In addition to containing high-maltose corn syrup and maltodextrin, a few Nature Valley products may also contain high-fructose corn syrup, a harmful, often mercury-containing ingredient that has been linked to weight gain, learning and memory problems, and liver damage. It wasn’t until the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) previously voiced concerns regarding Nature Valley’s “natural” claims back in July 2010 that the company decided to omit high-fructose corn syrup.