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  • Warning! Delicious, Spreadable Chocolate Is Not Health Food!

    Parents, be forewarned: there’s a terrible danger out there. Delicious, sweet, spreadable chocolate is available for purchase in your supermarkets, but it’s NOT healthy for your kids! Who would have thought?!? But ignorance is bliss — very bliss — and in the case of Uninformed Moms vs. Nutella, it was worth $3.5 million in a class action lawsuit settlement.

    This latest example of the U.S. legal system run wild comes to us from California where two mothers filed suit against Ferrero USA, Inc., the maker of Nutella — a spreadable, chocolate-flavored hazelnut product. ABC News reports that one of the plaintiffs — Athena Hohenberg of San Diego — sued the company because she was confused into thinking that Nutella is a health food, and she was “was shocked to learn” that Nutella “was the next best thing to a candy bar.”

    The root of their claim is that the company is guilty of false advertising. The TV ad for Nutella highlights how the product is made from “simple, quality ingredients like hazelnuts, skim milk and a hint of coco.” According to one of the plaintiffs, “I thought it was at least as nutritious as peanut butter if not more and that’s the impression I got from the advertisement. I thought it had health benefits and it clearly doesn’t.”

    Now, the company is settling for $3.5 million — or anywhere from $4 to $20 per person in the class.

    The thing is, if you take a look at a jar of Nutella, you’ll quickly see for yourself that the product isn’t that healthy. According to the government-mandated nutrition label, two tablespoons contain 200 calories, 11 grams of fat (3.5 grams saturated), and 21 grams of sugar. It doesn’t take a nutritionist to realize that isn’t healthy. But one of the plaintiffs — Laura Rude-Barbato, a mother of three — said that reading food labels is out of the question. ”If I stopped to read every label, I’d probably spend four or five hours in the grocery store,” she said.

    Now Rude-Barbato’s apparent lack of common sense is paying off, and Ferrero USA is paying the price.

    Unfortunately, when companies are hit with frivolous lawsuits and they have to pay out, the money comes from their bottom line. That means less money for innovation, investing and expanding — and that means fewer jobs. Frivolous lawsuits cost Americans billions of dollars per year — one estimate puts the total cost on the U.S. economy of $865 billion per year, amounting to an annual “tort tax” of $9,827 on a family of four. To fix the system, states need to make tort reform a top priority so that frivolous lawsuits don’t impose even greater costs on an already struggling economy.

    Posted in Featured, Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    25 Responses to Warning! Delicious, Spreadable Chocolate Is Not Health Food!

    1. Emily says:

      Everyone gets their knickers in a twist. Chocolate in small quantities is helpful, Hazelnuts are healthy, and milk is good for everyone in proper amounts. Health food NO! GOOD yes! AND let common sense prevail.

      Instead of Chocolate syrup on a sundae, I prefer a large dab of Nutella. Keep it coming.

      • dbur says:

        I have eaten a lot of this, especially since there was a coupon at Costco. It doesn't take a very big brain to figure out it's junk food.

        All the same they really shouldn't be claiming it's healthy. That's just plain false.

    2. nosredna says:

      there is nothing wrong with occasional junk food but something is really wrong with a legal system that can result in judgements like this. the laws past that require listing all ingredients on the package seem to have not worked as intended. I guess smart, yet dishonest people will try to get around any law that prevents them from making money. I wish there was was an honesty or integrity test for lawyers/judges. Those kind of people are usually ridiculed with names like "boyscout"

    3. DHarper says:

      One more of dozens of examples of class-action lawsuits where the "harmed" receive minimal compensation, while the lawyers rake in 10s or 100s of thousand $$.

    4. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      Oh, yeah? SEZ WHO?!

    5. Chris in N.Va. says:

      First the Lib-wits demand nutrition labels on EVERYTHING(!), including those nefarious, eeeeevil candy bars. As the late Andy Rooney once ranted in one of his 60 Minutes classics, "If I was interested in eating something with healthy nutritional content the last thing I would be eating is this candy bar!"

      Now reading the Nanny-State-Mandated labels, in all of their gloriously mandated detail, is considered too time-consuming a chore for the average mother or at least this particular hurried/harried one.

      Hey, mom! Here's a solution to your decision overload: don't stress yourself out with all of those tedious shopping decisions, but let the Government deliver to your doorstep your daily "approved" ration of food so you don't have to actually engage your brain and risk overworking that poor, lonely, single synapse.

      Then leave the rest of the world to the real adults.


      • kali says:

        What, seriously? Labels are a sign of a nanny state? They are the only defense a consumer has against the corporate food marketing machine. Not to mention, they're indispensable for any family that has allergies.

        But you have to READ them. Not that it takes a genius to figure out that Nutella is a sweet, dessert-y sort of food.

    6. Kahr50 says:

      It is perverse that idiots like these 2 moms are allowed to breed.____As a parent of a severe peanut allergy child, it is nothing to read every label in the store. Reading all ingredients is far more time consuming than reading nutritional fatcs. And I have 6 kids and own a small business.____What a lazy piece of garbage this woman is.____I am ashamed that thsi company folded to these ignorant demands.

    7. Ken Marx says:

      The result of this idiotic system is that product producers spend mega bucks on building-in safety and applying warning labels to comply with all the government mandates, then some half-bright consumer comes along, hires an expensive lawyer, and extorts large settlements. The producer may pay the settlement, but all of it's consumers pay the actual costs of manufacturing and legal expenses in the form of higher prices. Lawyers win, everybody else loses.

    8. American Gram says:

      And she is laughing all the way to the bank

      • Roger S. says:

        What? For 20 bucks? Anyone care to start a betting pool on how many jars of similar
        crap this idiot mom is likely to buy for that?! If she (or her kids) have been into Nutella,
        it's a fair bet that these $$$ will go down for something even less "healthy"! Peanut
        butter and marshmallow / jam mix, anyone? That 20 is never going to make it anywhere
        near a bank!

    9. zenga says:

      what sense does this make? if this company followed the government regulations that they put nutrition information on their products, why should they pay anything, especially to someone who claims it isn't worth their time to read the label. if they did nothing wrong, why should they pay.
      what do you call one million lawyers at the bottom of the sea? a good start.
      if i were president, i'd start by implementing a stupid tax – bring a frivilous lawsuit and you pay for legal expenses or spend time breaking rocks until you've paid off the costs. and your lawyer joins you.

    10. Laura says:

      4 or 5 hours in the store? Seriously? That would only be the first time (if then), and then she could make informed purchases each time following.

    11. Bobbie says:

      “I thought it was at least as nutritious as peanut butter if not more and that’s the impression I got from the advertisement? I thought it had health benefits and it clearly doesn’t?"… Is this for real? My Lord, they're just picking at anything! proof of what government education has done to the human mind. At least these mom's "thought." Ignorantly none the less.

      The advertisement is what it says it is. There's nothing false about it. Just because the product uses skim milk instead of cream or whole doesn't mean it's more nutritious than peanut butter? What a comparison?

      Unless the "advertisement claimed Nutella is more nutritious than peanut butter" the law suit is frivolous and Obama's players need jail time! That's like saying "i think beer is more nutritious than water because it has barley in it!!!" Grow up ladies. You don't deserve a dime and you're giving us a bad name.

    12. guest says:

      As DHarper notes, it is the lawyer(s) who get the big return.

      I wonder if the lawyer for this is a family member or friend of the plaintiffs. I guess I don't see spending time on this for $4-$8 and a feeling of being vindicated in making Nutella "pay for their crime".

    13. Chris in N.Va. says:

      The Lib-wits fought tooth-and-nail to mandate inclusion of nutrition labels on EVERYTHING(!), including those nefarious, eeeeevil candy bars. As the late Andy Rooney once ranted in one of his 60 Minutes classics, "If I was interested in eating something with healthy nutritional content the last thing I would be eating is this candy bar!"

    14. Chris in N.Va. says:

      First the Lib-wits demand nutrition labels on EVERYTHING(!), including those nefarious, eeeeevil candy bars. As the late Andy Rooney once ranted in one of his 60 Minutes classics, "If I was interested in eating something with healthy nutritional content the last thing I would be eating is this candy bar!"

      Gen. Mcauliffe had it right — Nuts!

    15. Vrglee69 says:

      Wow 3.5 million for being lazy. No wonder they what Obama to spoon feed them his brand of Marxism. FORWARD into the abyss

    16. SilentCalFan says:

      What a travesty! Most class actions serve only to enrich the lawyers and do nothing to benefit the public or the class members. This case should have been dismissed on summary judgment. Examining a label takes mere seconds. I always look for calories, salt, and sugar content, and buy the brand with the lowest numbers. No problem. I am in and out of the store in short order. This lawsuit was unconscionable.

    17. MomOfFiveNutellaFans says:

      No one said nutella is nutritious. It is delicious. It gets kids to eat the nutritious crap ( kids opinion, not mine) like whole grain waffles or toast underneath. And you're not supposed to put the whole 2 tablespoons on 1 piece!! And where can you find a simpler, easier to read label than Nutella's??!!!?? 4-5. hrs to read labels phhttt…

    18. afms says:

      It's amazing that we have lawyers and courts that take on Stupidity cases like this. Our judicial system should laugh in her face and fine her for lack of Common Sense. Personal Responsibility, People!!!!!!!!!

    19. David Musick says:

      I'm ashamed of the ways in whichthe entitled and lazy are destroying our country. This is really just a case of lazy parenting. Can't they read labels and make sound judgements from what they read? Are people so stupid that need someone to tell them what's good for them and what isn't? Help.

    20. Bobbie says:

      …and for justice to allow ignorance to prevail, calls for disbarring.

    21. Ignorance is NOT bliss. Really people need to educate themselves. Stupidity SUCKS!

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