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Recent Lawsuit Against the Coca-Cola Company for PFAS Contamination in Simply Tropical Beverages

Updated: Feb 11, 2023


Photo courtesy of Unsplash



Over the past year, there has been an increasing number of lawsuits filed against cosmetic, hygiene, and food manufacturing companies for alleged PFAS contamination. A recent class-action lawsuit was filed against the Coca-Cola Company due to false claims of all-natural ingredients in Simply Tropical beverages (Perkins, 2023). Although some media outlets have claimed that the PFAS contamination is in regards to the Simply Orange juice products, the lawsuit has been found to only apply to Simply Tropical juice (Fink, 2023). PFAS are per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, also known as synthetic “forever chemicals”, that take a considerable period of time to break down (Environmental Protection Agency, n.d.). These man-made chemicals affect the health of humans, animals, and the environment. Research indicates that PFAS contamination may contribute to reproductive issues, cancer, high cholesterol, and more (Fink, 2023). With thousands of PFAS chemicals currently existing, there has been a push in the scientific and legal communities to develop a plan on how to address this pressing issue (Environmental Protection Agency, n.d.).


The PFAS present in the Simply Tropical beverages were found to be hundreds of times over federal limits set in place for drinking water by the Environmental Protection Agency (Maas, 2023; Perkins, 2023). Plaintiff Joseph Lurenz, a resident of New York, brought this case to the Southern District of New York on December 28th, 2022 due to the Coca-Cola Company marketing Simply Tropical beverages as all-natural (Perkins, 2023; Rizzi, 2023). The Coca-Cola Company failed to list the PFAS present in these beverages in their food labels. Their misleading choice of words led consumers to believe that this product was free of all chemicals and synthetic additives. The company was found to be in violation of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and the New York Deceptive Trade Practices Act due to misleading, inaccurate, and deceptive marketing efforts (Fink, 2023).


The existence of PFAS poses a major health risk, but there is still a lot that needs to be learned about how PFAS interact with humans, wildlife, and the environment. Additionally, there is still a lot of uncertainty on how PFAS can be detected, managed, or disposed of (Environmental Protection Agency, n.d.). In the future, we can expect to see more lawsuits arise regarding PFAS contamination due to the growing public awareness and concern that has resulted from recent media coverage. Follow the news for more updates on the recent lawsuit against the Coca-Cola Company regarding PFAS contamination in their Simply Tropical beverages. Readers can help spread awareness by supporting initiatives to ban PFAS, and hold conversations with peers about these recent contamination findings.


 

References

Environmental Protection Agency. (n.d.). PFAS Explained. EPA. Retrieved February 2, 2023,


Fink, B. (2023, January 20). Simply Orange Juice is Under Fire but You're Blaming the Wrong

Juice. Allrecipes. Retrieved February 2, 2023, from


Gardella, J. (2023, February 1). PFAS Consumer Fraud Trend Continues. The National Law

Review. Retrieved February 2, 2023, from


Maas, R. (2023, January 28). Coca-Cola Faces Class Action Lawsuit Over High PFAS Levels in

Simply Orange Juice Products. AboutLawsuits.com. Retrieved February 2, 2023, from


Perkins, T. (2023, January 25). 'All-Natural' Simply Tropical Juice has High Toxic PFAS Levels,

Lawsuit Alleges. The Guardian. Retrieved February 2, 2023, from


Rizzi, C. (2023, January 27). Simply Orange Juice Class Action Alleges 'Tropical' Drink

Contains Synthetic 'Forever Chemicals'. ClassAction.org. Retrieved February 2, 2023,

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