Health-conscious cereal brand Kashi is dropping the terms “all natural” and “nothing artificial” from its labeling. The changes come as part of a class-action lawsuit settlement, which also includes a $5 million payment for Kellogg, the food corporation behind Kashi. The suit, which was filed in California in 2011, accused Kellogg of false advertising for promoting certain Kashi products as all natural when they contained hexane-processed soy ingredients that had been produced synthetically. The company also settled a related suit over its Bear Naked brand for $325,000.
Kellogg is by no means the only company to have come under fire for its advertising practices. Chobani was sued over its use of “evaporated cane juice” (plaintiffs said the phrase was designed to hide the product’s sugar content) and General Mills’ Nature Valley products are facing similar accusations to Kashi for their prominent use of “100% Natural” on packaging.
For what it’s worth, the New York Times notes that the Food and Drug Administration has not strictly defined how “natural” can be used on food products. Kris Charles, a spokeswoman for Kellogg, told the Times in a statement that the company stands behind its advertising and labeling practices.