PLANO, TX -- Dr Pepper Snapple Group has dropped vitamin E from several 7Up varieties to settle a lawsuit charging that it misrepresented the benefits of drinking the vitamin-enhanced sodas.
Regular and diet 7Up Cherry Antioxidant, Mixed Berry Antioxidant and Pomegranate Antioxidant are now vitamin E-free.
In November, the Center for Science in the Public Interest filed a class action lawsuit against the Dr Pepper Snapple on behalf of a California man who purchased 7Up drinks with vitamin E, which is known to have antioxidant properties. The lawsuit claimed that the man was not aware that the sodas contained only a small amount of the vitamin and did not contain juices from the fruits shown on their labels.
"Non-diet varieties of 7Up, like other sugary drinks, promote obesity, diabetes, tooth decay, and other serious health problems, and no amount of antioxidants could begin to reduce those risks," CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson said when the suit was filed. "Adding an antioxidant to a soda is like adding menthol to a cigarette -- neither does anything to make an unhealthy product healthy."
Shortly after the lawsuit was filed, Dr Pepper Snapple Group said that it would phase out products with antioxidants by early 2013, but claimed the decision was not connected to the lawsuit.
CSPI still pursued its class-action litigation, which resulted in a settlement that also requires Dr Pepper Snapple Group to pay $5,000 to CSPI and $237,500 in attorney's fees.
In related news, a judge recently cleared the way for a separate class-action lawsuit led by CPSI against Coca-Cola for what the public health watchdog says are misrepresented health claims about the beverage giant's popular Vitaminwater line. | SEE STORY