At least those are the allegations of plaintiff Oula Zakaria, who claims in her Gerber Consumer Fraud Lawsuit that Gerber misled consumers by marketing Good Start Gentle as the “first and only” formula that reduced the risk for the development of allergies in infants, amidst other claims.
Allergies - which appear to be increasing in prevalence - have also become an increasing concern for parents. A product touting its effectiveness in preventing the onset of those allergies, and seemingly carrying a supporting endorsement by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that is alleged not to be the case after all, has consumers crying foul.
In this case, the FDA denoted on the Gerber Good Start label specific artwork that represented an FDA issuance of a Qualified Health Claim, without going into detail as to just what the term denoted. In fact, the term denotes the non-granting of approval for a health claim - in this case, the capacity for hydrolyzed whey protein to prevent the development and onset of allergies - that in fact, has not been proven and lacks scientific evidence to back those claims.
The FDA, and the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), both initiated activity against Gerber in October 2014 in an effort to dissuade Gerber from continuing to make those claims. For its part, the FDA issued a “cease-and-desist” warning letter to the manufacturer. Failure to do so would put Gerber at risk for legal action by the FDA.
The FTC, in the same month, went ahead and launched a Gerber Consumer Fraud lawsuit against Gerber for the mislabeling of its Good Start Gentle baby formula.
Gerber, according to court records, is also treading the misleading advertising pathway in similar fashion with toddler cereal, or so it is alleged. To that end, a Gerber Consumer Fraud Lawsuit launched by two women in California and proposed as a class action alleges Gerber’s use of various images of fruits and vegetables on the labels of cereal products for toddlers is misleading.
The plaintiffs in the Gerber toddler cereal case are Michelle Gyorke-Talatri and Katie Silver. Their lawsuit suggests it is only natural for consumers to assume that toddler cereal is made from the products featured prominently on product labeling, when in fact it is not - and contains more sugar than cereal correctly manufactured from the ingredients depicted.
Gerber had attempted to have the toddler cereal lawsuit dismissed.
The Gerber Consumer Fraud lawsuit over toddler cereal is Gyorke-Takatri, et al., v. Nestle USA Inc. et al., Case Number CGC-15-546850, in the Superior Court of California for the County of San Francisco. Gerber is a subsidiary of Nestle USA Inc.
The current baby formula lawsuit is Oula Zakaria v. Gerber Products Co, Case Number 2:15-cv-0200, in US District Court, Central District of California.