7Up with antioxidants to be taken off the market
BY CANDICE CHOI & MAE ANDERSON Associated Press
Friday, November 09, 2012
11/09/12 at 7:01 AM
NEW YORK - 7Up with antioxidants will soon be off the market.
Plano, Texas-based Dr Pepper Snapple Group said the decision to reformulate the drinks was not related to a lawsuit filed Thursday. It said the drinks were being taken off the market for consistency across its brands.
The lawsuit says the drink's claims are misleading because they give the impression that the antioxidants come from fruit rather than added vitamin E.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest, which advocates for food safety and nutrition, also noted that the Food and Drug Administration prohibits fortifying candies and soft drinks with nutrients.
The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in California on behalf of a California man who bought the drinks but says he didn't know the antioxidants didn't come from juices.
7Up Cherry Antioxidant, Mixed Berry Antioxidant, and Pomegranate Antioxidant were launched in 2009. Despite the pictures of cherries, blackberries, cranberries, raspberries and pomegranates on various 7Up labels, the drinks do not contain any fruit or juice.
Dr Pepper said its 7Up Cherry is a "cherry-flavored soda that does not contain juice ... and it says so right on the label."
The company says it had decided to reformulate the 7Up drinks in 2011 and had met with the Center for Science in the Public Interest over the matter this summer.
"It's an implied claim of healthfulness without any evidence," says Mike Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Jacobson said regulations prohibit companies from fortifying junk foods.
Even if added antioxidants provided any benefit, Jacobson noted that people "shouldn't be getting them from a soda."
It's not the first time a soft drink maker has run into trouble for nutritional claims. In 2008, the FDA sent Coca-Cola Co. a warning letter for Diet Coke Plus, which was labeled "Diet Coke with Vitamins and Minerals."
In 2009 the Center for Science in the Public Interest also sued Coca-Cola over its Vitaminwater, saying Coca-Cola was selling basically sugar water by claiming it has vitamins that boost immunity and reduce the risk of disease. That case is still pending.
Original Print Headline: 7Up's antioxidant drinks to be pulled