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Post to face class action for alleged false advertising of sugary cereals

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Pic: GettyImages/BCFC
Pic: GettyImages/BCFC

Related tags Post holdings Sugar content Breakfast cereals Class action

A US federal judge has ruled that Post Holdings Inc. must face class claims alleging it made false and misleading statements that several of its breakfast cereals are ‘healthy’ despite their high sugar content.

The suit – brought by Californian residents Debbie Krommenhock and Stephen Hadley on behalf of thousands of Post Foods LLC customers in the Golden State – alleges the breakfast cereal giant cloaked its cereals in an aura of ‘deceptive health and wellness’ by playing up the whole grain and vitamin content on the packaging and downplaying the amount of sugar.

They challenged the use of 45 statements on 31 of Post’s cereal varieties that used words like ‘wholesome’ and ‘nutritious’, noting the sugar content was well above the 5% and 10% daily limit endorsed by nutrition authorities.

According to the US District Court for the Northern District of California, a majority of the challenged statements were made consistently enough to support an inference of classwide exposure.

Judge William Orrick also rejected Post’s argument the plaintiffs needed to show that every consumer covered by the class saw the allegedly misleading statements on its labels and had failed to do so.

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