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Coke Sued for Fraudulent Claims on Obesity-Promoting 'VitaminWater'
Date:1/15/2009

vitamins + water + sugar + hype = soda - bubbles

WASHINGTON, Jan. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Coca-Cola Company has been served notice a class action lawsuit filed (http://cspinet.org/new/pdf/vitaminwater_filed_complaint.pdf)over what the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) says are deceptive and unsubstantiated claims on its VitaminWater line of beverages.

Coke markets VitaminWater as a healthful alternative to soda by labeling its several flavors with such health buzz words as "defense," "rescue," "energy," and "endurance." The company makes a wide range of dramatic claims, including that its drinks variously reduce the risk of chronic disease, reduce the risk of eye disease, promote healthy joints, and support optimal immune function.

In fact, according to CSPI nutritionists, the 33 grams of sugar in each bottle of VitaminWater do more to promote obesity, diabetes, and other health problems than the vitamins in the drinks do to perform the advertised benefits listed on the bottles.

CSPI's litigation department is serving as co-counsel in the suit, filed yesterday in United States District Court in the Northern District of California. The other law firms involved in the case are Reese Richman LLP and Whatley Drake & Kallas, LLC.

"When I bought VitaminWater, frankly I thought I was doing myself a favor health-wise," said the plaintiff, San Francisco, California, resident James Koh, who used to purchase and drink VitaminWater after working out at the gym. "I was attracted by the prospect of getting extra vitamins. But I had no idea that I was actually getting almost a Coke's worth of sugar and calories. There's no way I would have spent money on that, had I known."'/>"/>

SOURCE Center for Science in the Public Interest
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