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Thursday, October 29, 2009

'Froot Loops' Lawyer Gratified By City Attorney's Stern Letter to Cocoa Krispies

Posted By on Thu, Oct 29, 2009 at 8:30 AM

click to enlarge You lied to me, bird!
  • You lied to me, bird!
Last month we reported on Roy Werbel, the East Bay man who sued Froot Loops in San Francisco Federal court because he claims he was misled into purchasing the product for years in the belief it contained fruit.

Apparently we're in the midst of  toucan-hunting season both locally and nationally. Kellogg's has come under intense pressure for the ostentatious, green "Smart Choice" check it emblazons on Froot Loops and other sugar-laden cereals -- when only discerning consumers might realize that the whole "Smart Choice" program is an industry-generated farce. Then, on Tuesday, City Attorney Dennis Herrera shot off an angry letter to the Kellog's people accusing them of fearmongering and bad science in claiming Cocoa Krispies boost kids' immune systems.

This move brought joy to the heart of Jeff Kravitz, Werbel's lawyer in the Froot Loops case. He said he's considering appending the complaint to more fully document the aforementioned charges against Kellogg's, which he feels only buttress his claims that the company is engaged in "deception of the public."

"I'm quite surprised and happy a city attorney is taking up this issue," Kravitz said. "I'm glad to see people are looking up and saying that an essentially misleading product aimed at children is an area of concern to the public."

A Sacramento judge recently ruled that no competent human being could believe that Cap'n Crunch Crunchberries are really berries -- that case, in all seriousness, has been appealed to the 9th Circuit Court. But Kravitz is still optimistic about his almost identical case. "My opinion is the initial reason the company started calling these products things like 'Froot Loops' and 'Crunchberries' was to make people think the products had some sort of natural basis to them. That's why these lawsuits exist."

Kravitz seemed stung by the multitude of "Goddamn moneygrubbing lawyer" comments on our original story about Werbel's suit. He reminds the general public that this is a class action suit -- so, unless Werbel bought enough Froot Loops over the years to re-create the Saturday Night Live Colon Blow commercials, he's not getting rich out of this.

"It's not as if the person filing this claim is saying 'I should get tons of money.' It's about advertising and marketing practices of these companies which are deceptive," said the lawyer. "If the ocmpanies want to change how they're labeling and marketing, let them settle these cases."

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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