Friday, August 6, 2010

Legal Commentary: Shitty Drinks

Via Officials Say The Darndest Things, here's Coca-Cola's lawyer's argument defending their product:
No consumer could reasonably be misled into thinking vitaminwater was a healthy beverage.
This is a great call-back to my favorite legal defense of all time, from Pringles:
P&G had gone to court to challenge a VAT and Duties Tribunal decision that the Pringle was subject to the standard 17.5% rate of VAT because it was "a potato crisp product", which are, unlike most food, subject to the tax.

But the manufacturer had insisted that their best-selling product was not similar to potato crisps, because of their "mouth melt" taste, "uniform colour" and "regular shape" which "is not
found in nature".
Pringles' defense is even more self-harming because they've called their product unnatural, which is just hysterical.

This is all relevant, by the way, because since 2003, the FDA has regulated qualified health claims on Food (not things like "it's healthy" but things like "reduces cholesterol"). It does not do so, however, on drinks.

(there's exceptions -- the FDA is gathering information on the health of alcoholic energy drinks because that shit might just be dangerous, or misleading information on foods/drinks intended for children under 2).

The FDA could one day, though, find themselves in the position of figuring out how much anti-oxidants actually benefit you, and whether the Acai berry is really all it is cracked up to be.

And this is all really crucial because increasing research is demonstrating that beyond fatty/greasy/sugary foods, a big part of obesity is soft drinks.