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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Pomegranate-Blueberry Juice... NOT!


What follows is one person's opinion….:

Today, a guest post from Albert Einstein… or, well, at least that percentage of me that is a match for Einstein… which is to say a LOT more than the percentage of Coca-Cola's "Pomegranate-Blueberry" juice product that actually contains any pomegranate or blueberry juice...

I wouldn't normally even cover this story, except it deals with something that has ticked me off for a long while… and, hey, there is some simple math involved (tooooo simple perhaps for the minds of corporate America, unencumbered by conscience):
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-court-fruit-drinks-20140422-story.html 

http://tinyurl.com/m3o7r5q  (possible paywall)

In a rare-these-days, unanimous decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has (from NY Times) "allowed a false advertising suit against a Coca-Cola juice blend to move forward, saying the company’s practices 'allegedly mislead and trick consumers, all to the injury of competitors"...
Well, of course, truth-be-told, there's NO "allegedly" about it; this is what major corporations have been actively doing for decades. The story continues: "The blend, sold under Coca-Cola’s Minute Maid brand, is made almost entirely from apple and grape juice. But it is called 'Pomegranate Blueberry,' followed in smaller type by the phrase 'Flavored Blend of 5 Juices.'" A better label might read: "99% NON Pomegranate or Blueberry Juice," or, just as truthfully, "99% NON-Dom PĂ©rignon."

Of course Coke doesn't have a logical, ethical, or honest leg to stand on, though that won't stop high-paid lawyers employing warped reasoning, perhaps for years to come, to argue they are 1 centimeter on this side of an imagined legal line. And the dishonorable marketers who concoct these "truth-in-labeling" blasphemies will intone that 'ohh, everybody does it.'

Yes, this practice isn't just common, it's the norm... fooling the public, with wordplay, into thinking they are getting a healthier, or simply different, product than the one they are wasting $$$ on.** Over the years there have been several scandals involving misbranded fruit juices that contained NO actual juice whatsoever, just water, fructose, coloring, and artificial flavors… often with the major companies involved, claiming that well, 'gee whiz, we had no idea our suppliers were deceiving us with adulturated or fake product… we're shocked, SHOCKED, we tell you'… rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrright!

So yeah, I'm peeved that something loudly proclaiming itself on the grocer shelf as Pomegranate Juice can have 1% or less pomegranate juice… hell, I'm peeved it can have only 70% pomegranate juice… but that is the way of corporate America… always squeezing a few more unearned pennies out of the customers viewed as sheep.

And this is just one isolated item brought to attention… how many other products does Coca-Cola et.al. flagrantly deceive customers on??? For now, the operative consumer stance is essentially "caveat emptor"… i.e., DON'T assume anything a company tells you, means what it appears to mean… and ALWAYS read the small print. (Interestingly, POM Wonderful, the company that brought suit against Coke, is battling its own lawsuits against ITS advertising claims.)

Here is some of the "truth-in-labeling" legalese that applies, though it is weak in addressing font styles and sizes:
http://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/21/102.33

Speaking of the 99% figure, and the overpaid shysters, er, I mean, lawyers who argue this case on Coke's behalf, I can only recall Steven Wright's quip, "99% of lawyers give the rest a bad name."

Cathy O'Neil ("Mathbabe") wrote a bit ago that she was boycotting Amazon; I'd like to broaden that out to a boycott of Coca-Cola, or any other company so disrespectful of the paying public. [I know, for some the phrase, "tilting at windmills" will come to mind, but for myself, I won't be purchasing any of these brands for the near-future.]


** ADDENDUM: one of the Coke lackeys lawyers opened mouth wide and inserted foot when she claimed that American consumers were intelligent enough to recognize the difference between a juice and a juice blend… to which Justice Anthony Kennedy aptly responded (bringing courtroom laughter), "Don't make me feel bad, because I thought this was pomegranate juice.



1 comment:

Jay said...

So is there an FDA regulation that stipulates how much Blueberry and Cranberry juice must be in something that in big capital letters calls itself Blueberry/ Cranberry juice?