Motts Applesauce Class Action Says Ingredients Include Harmful Insecticide

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The makers of Motts Applesauce and Motts Apple Juice are facing a consumer class action lawsuit for allegedly falsely advertising that its’ products are made with “all natural” ingredients, when in actuality they purportedly contain synthetic chemical ingredients.

Dr. Pepper Snapple Group and Motts LLP, the makers of several applesauce and apple juice products, including Motts Natural Unsweetened Applesauce, Motts Healthy Harvest Applesauce varieties, Motts Natural 100% Juice Apple Juice and other varieties of “Motts” brand applesauce and apple juice products stand accused of misrepresenting their products in order to take advantage of the increased demand for “natural” food products. Indeed, the majority of consumers are becoming more conscious of the how the products they purchase are prepared and are willing to pay a premium for products that are free from unnatural ingredients, synthetic chemicals, or other remnants of artificial or extensive processing.

Plaintiff Hawyuan Yu of Santa Clara County, California filed this “all natural” class action lawsuit after purchasing Motts Natural Applesauce and Natural Apple Juice on multiple occasions from Costco and Safeway stores in her neighborhood. In deciding to make these purchases, Yu says he paid more for the products because he relied on the representation that the Motts’ products were “natural” and made of “All Natural Ingredients”. However, he was shocked to discover that the Motts’ products contain insecticides and other unnatural chemicals, the lawsuit says.

According to testing conducted by an independent laboratory, it was revealed that Motts’ products contain a synthetic chemical known as Acetamiprid. Acetamiprid is a synthetically created insecticide – also known as a systemic insecticide that is absorbed into the plant to kill insects.

Scientifically speaking, it is a “synthetic neonicotinoid insecticidal neurotoxin” that may be hazardous to human development and to other animals including the honeybee. Acetamiprid is “legal” in connection with food products, insofar as the law does not preclude the use of acetamiprid in treating and harvesting crops and has made allowances for certain amounts of residues to remain on fruits and vegetables before they are delivered to the end user to be cleaned and consumed.

Yet, Motts applesauce and juice products feature prominently on their front packaging in a blue badge that their products contain “All Natural Ingredients”. The labeling also informs the consumer that Motts applesauce does not contain added sugar or vitamin C.

“Defendants’ ‘All Natural Ingredients’ and ‘Natural’ statements deceive and mislead consumers into believing the Products contain nothing unnatural or synthetic. As a direct result of Defendants’ deceptive statements concerning the nature of the Products, Plaintiff and the Class members paid a premium for the Products,” the Motts Applesauce class action lawsuit states.

Yu is seeking to represent a nationwide Class of consumers who purchased the Motts’ products that were labeled as being made of “All Natural Ingredients” and/or “Natural” in the United States, as well as a California subclass.

Yu is represented by Clark A. Binkley and Jaime Mak of Richman Law Group.

The Motts Applesauce Class Action Lawsuit is Hawyuan Yu v. Dr. Pepper Snapple Group Inc. and Motts LLP, Case No. 18-cv-6664, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose Division.

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