The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) is suing Twinings North America, Inc. and its parent company, Associated British Foods PLC, for what it claims is deceptive labeling, marketing and sale of Twinings Tea of London products.
The suit was filed on behalf of OCA by Richman Law Group, in D.C. Superior Court under the D.C. Consumer Protection Procedures Act. The suit specifically calls out Twinings Green Tea, and Green Tea with Mint, products.
"No reasonable consumer who reads the words 'pure' and '100% natural ingredients,' whether on Twinings' packaging or in other advertising or marketing communications, such as the company's website, would expect those products to contain residues of glyphosate, a synthetic herbicide, and unnatural insecticides," said Ronnie Cummins, OCA co-founder and international director. "Consumer surveys consistently bear out the fact that health-conscious shoppers rely on labels and online research to make buying decisions. Twinings should have to clean up its supply chain so that its products are in fact 'pure' and '100% natural,' or be forced to stop making those claims.”
The suit alleges that by deceiving consumers about the nature, quality and/or ingredients of its products, Twinings is able to sell a greater volume of products, to charge higher prices for the products, and to take away market share from competing products, thereby increasing its own sales and profits.