"An Elaborate Con," Says CSPI
CSPI's litigation department has sent a letter to Campbell Soup Company threatening to sue if it does not stop making misleading statements about the juice content, nutritional value and overall healthfulness of its extended juice lines.
Campbell's deceptively markets its V8 Splash and V8 V-Fusion Refreshers line of products with names and labels that are strikingly similar to its V8 V-Fusion 100% juice drink line, despite the fact that V8 V-Fusion Refreshers only contain 20 to 25 percent juice, and V8 Splash drinks only contain between five and 10 percent juice. The latter drinks also include artificial food dyes, high-fructose corn syrup, and sometimes artificial sweeteners such as sucralose or acesulfame potassium. Despite the vastly different nutritional content of these juice drinks, all the labels depict fresh fruits and vegetables and boast about the drinks' antioxidant content.
In addition, the company makes claims that its V-Fusion line has "no added sugar" when the V-Fusion Refreshers do contain added sugar. And statements related to V8 Splash's antioxidant content mislead consumers into assuming that the vitamins in drinks labeled as "an excellent source of vitamins A and C" come from the fruits and vegetables pictured on the label when, in reality, much of the vitamins are added through fortification. FDA regulations prohibit the artificial fortification of nutritionally void beverages—and V8 Splash has more high-fructose corn syrup than fruit or vegetable juice concentrates.
Products like V8 Splash and V8 V Fusion Refreshers are designed to simulate 100% juice drinks. The deceptive marketing and misleading labels are designed to confuse consumers about nutritional quality of the products and therefore violate federal law.