Misrepresentations & False Advertising

Too often, consumers are deceived by product labels and advertisements.

MISREPRESENTATIONS & FALSE ADVERTISINGCompanies often take advantage of millions of customers by plying them with false claims about their products.  The customer might otherwise have never purchased the product.  In the end, the customer feels duped and cheated out of their money.  False advertising is an unfair business practice which should be stopped.

Food

In California, the health-food industry has become a wildly successful venture.  Customers often see a litany of claims being made on packages.  Gluten-free.  All-natural.  Organic.  Contains antioxidants.  No preservatives.

“Gluten-Free”

Perhaps you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.  You rely on the labels of food products to make reliable claims as to whether the food contains gluten.  At your local health-foods store, you discover a box of cereal that looks delicious and claims to be gluten-free.  When you have it for breakfast the next morning, suddenly the day doesn’t look so bright.  You’re having troubles in the bathroom.  Maybe you feel a headache coming on.  There’s the onset of fatigue even though you’re pretty sure you got enough sleep last night.  You are physically afflicted in various other ways.

Was the “gluten-free” cereal truly gluten-free after all?  You’ve got an aching suspicion something’s not right.  And you may be right.  In 2008, at least two children with wheat allergies had to be treated at hospitals after eating foods mislabeled as being gluten-free.  Mislabeled food products such as potato chips, ice cream, chili, corn dogs, other frozen foods, pasta, and others have been responsible for much suffering endured by misled consumers.  Even shopping at reputable health-foods stores won’t necessarily mean you are in the clear.  The 2008 incidence referenced above happened as a result of products purchased from Whole Foods Markets.

If you are concerned about the authenticity of a product that claims to be gluten-free, contact the attorneys at CounselOne for a free consultation.  You have a right not to be misled by product packaging and advertisements.  We are in the business of protecting consumers’ rights, and have won millions in restitution for our clients.  Contact us today.

“All Natural”, “No preservatives”

If you’re trying to adopt a healthy lifestyle, it’s a no-brainer that one of the first steps is to start eating more natural foods over foods that contain a lot of artificial ingredients.  It’s convenient that so many products carry the label “All-natural”, “Made with all-natural ingredients”, and “No preservatives” on them.  The images they bring to mind are of fresh fruits, vegetables, and grains springing out of the ground.  Grocery shopping has never been simpler.

Ascorbic Acid and Citric Acid

After bringing home your wares, you swipe a look at the ingredient list only to find items that sound a lot like artificial ingredients.  Ascorbic acid may be one such ingredient.  Citric acid may be another.  While some companies may argue that both ascorbic acid and citric acid are chemicals that may be found in nature, it is often the case that manufacturers are using the kind created in a lab.

Ascorbic acid is a synthetic form of vitamin C that is ultimately produced from corn syrup made from genetically-modified corn.  It is often used as an artificial preservative in fruit-based food products, meat products, beverages, and oils and fats.  Its antioxidant properties are what make it a good artificial preservative.  But according to a 2001 study by Seon Hwa Lee, Tomoyuki Oe, and Ian A. Blair, ascorbic acid also has pro-oxidant properties which induce the formation of genotoxins that may lead to cancer.  If you purchased a product that claims to be all-natural, with no preservatives, you may have been duped.

Citric acid is often used in the food industry as a preservative for jams, jellies, candies, salads, meats, frozen foods, oils, and fats.  The large-scale industrial production process appetizingly involves components such as mold and sulfuric acid.  Products that claim to be all natural and include citric acid as an ingredient may be making a gross misrepresentation.  If the label states, “No preservatives,” and the food contains citric acid, this is also a misrepresentation.

If you feel you have been misled by labels or advertisements into purchasing a food product, believing it is all natural, or that it contains no preservatives, contact CounselOne today to discuss your grievance.  Chances are many others have been wronged in the same manner.  As a consumer, you have a right to truthful information about the products you purchase.  Contact us today for a free consultation.

“Organic”

There is no shortage of reasons to want to eat organic.  Organic produce is thought to contain more nutrients than conventionally grown produce, and it is grown without pesticides.  Organic animals aren’t given growth hormones, arsenic, corn ethanol byproducts, or slaughterhouse waste to eat.  You shouldn’t get salmonella from eating organic chicken.  Organic crops should not be genetically modified (GM).  Organic packaged foods should be free of chemical additives, artificial sweeteners (including high-fructose corn syrup), flavor enhancers, or preservatives.

According to the USDA, products labeled as “organic” must contain at least 95 percent organic ingredients, without taking into account water, air, and salt.  Products labeled “Made with organic ingredients” must contain at least 70 percent organic ingredients.  If a product is less than 70 percent organic, the term “organic” cannot be displayed prominently on the label.

If you suspect that you’ve been mislead by a product label into believing a product is organic, contact CounselOne today to schedule a free consultation.  As a consumer, you have a right to truthful information about the products you purchase.  Contact us today for a free consultation.

“Contains Antioxidants”

Consuming antioxidant-rich foods is one of the best ways to boost your immunity.  The presence of too many free radicals can disrupt normal cell function.  Antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, neutralize free radicals in the body.  This is why it is important to eat foods containing antioxidants.  Companies are aware of the need for antioxidants in our diet, and try to capitalize upon this demand as much as possible.  Often, in the grocery store, you will see product labels boasting antioxidant content.  Some, however, are vaguer in their claims than others.  They claim to contain antioxidants, but don’t specify which ones.  And some others are just downright suspicious, such as an unhealthy, sugary soda claiming to be a good source of antioxidants.

Some of these food labels claim the product is a source of antioxidants, but sometimes it is the case that one would have to consume an absurdly large quantity of the product in order to derive any antioxidant benefits from it.  California has adopted the FDA regulations for antioxidant labeling into its own laws.  If a product label contains any claims about antioxidants, it must specify which antioxidants are contained.  Statements such as “high in antioxidant vitamin C” or “good source of antioxidant beta-carotene” are also regulated, with minimum content requirements for each type of statement.

If you suspect you might have a false advertising claim, contact the attorneys at CounselOne to schedule a free consultation.  As a consumer, you have a right to fair and truthful information about the products you purchase.  Contact us today for a free consultation.

Cosmetics and Personal Care Products

Millions of people depend on cosmetics and personal care products to improve their appearance.  People use these products to look younger, healthier, and more attractive.  According to some estimates, women use an average of 12 different beauty products a day.  The cosmetics and personal care products industry is not quite bereft of male customers either.  In order to decide which products to buy, customers rely on the claims made on the labels and advertisements of these products by the cosmetics and personal care products industry, which is largely self-regulated.  The industry takes advantage of this by making all types of outlandish claims in order to entice people to purchase their miracle product.  Lipstick or eye shadow that purportedly stays on for an absurdly long amount of time.  Mascara that makes your lashes look like the model’s, even though you’re fairly certain the model is wearing false lashes.  Antioxidant-containing creams that make your skin look years younger.  Often, these claims are unsubstantiated and misleading to the consumer.  If you have been deceived by false advertising claims, you may be entitled to compensation.

Contact CounselOne today to schedule a free consultation.

“All Natural”

Hand-in-hand with the natural foods industry is the natural cosmetics industry.  After all, if you’re watching with diligence what goes inside your body, why not watch what you apply to the outside as well?  More and more, companies are making claims about their product being “all natural”, but when you look at the ingredients list, it’s hard to be certain.  If you have purchased a cosmetic or personal care product claiming to be “all natural”, but you are dubious as to whether this is true, contact CounselOne today for a free initial consultation.

“Organic”

The USDA holds the same standards for the labeling of organic cosmetic products as it does for the labeling of organic food products.  Cosmetic, personal care, and body care products labeled as “organic” must contain at least 95 percent organic ingredients, without taking into account water, air, and salt.  Products labeled “Made with organic ingredients” must contain at least 70 percent organic ingredients.  If a product is less than 70 percent organic, the term “organic” cannot be displayed prominently on the label.  If you feel that a product you have purchased has been mislabeled as organic, you may be entitled to compensation.

Contact CounselOne today to schedule a free consultation.

Tickets

Nowadays, it’s easy and convenient to purchase tickets to almost any kind of event online.  You just go to the ticket vendor website, make a few selections, and before you know it, you are at the payment processing page.  At this point, you may notice a list of fees being tacked on to your order.  Are you being handed a fair deal?

A recent class-action settlement with Ticketmaster involved an alleged misrepresentation of the UPS delivery charge and an order processing fee that was too high to make sense.  The claim was that the UPS delivery fee charged by Ticketmaster was higher than what UPS would actually charge to deliver those tickets, meaning Ticketmaster was making additional profits on the sly.  Another Ticketmaster settlement allegedly involved a rewards program that many people unwittingly enrolled in as they purchased a ticket order from the website.  The rewards program charged $9 a month to the card used for the original ticket order.

If you are the victim of a misrepresentation involving online tickets, you may be entitled to compensation.  Contact CounselOne today for a free consultation.

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