The manufacturer Stevia In The Raw has agreed to pay more than $1.5 million in order to settle a class action lawsuit that alleges the company deceptively labeled its product as “all natural.”
If you purchased at least one Stevia in the Raw brand Consumer Product containing the phrases “natural,” “all natural” or “100% natural” in the United States between Oct. 9, 2009 and July 1, 2014, you may be eligible for a cash payment.
Lead plaintiff Leslie Frohberg of New York accused Stevia In The Raw maker Cumberland Packing Corp. of misleading customers by the “natural” claims listed on sweetener packages.
According to the Stevia class action lawsuit, the label prominently states that Stevia In The Raw is a “100% Natural Zero Calorie Sweetener” and Frohberg says she paid more because she believed it to be natural.
However, the Stevia In The Raw class action lawsuit states that Cumberland conceals from customers that ingredients dextrose and maltodextrin are derived from highly processed GMO corn, in part by stating that they are “natural carbohydrate[s].”
Frohberg alleges that by labeling the sugar substitute as “natural,” “all natural” or “100% natural,” Stevia In The Raw manufacturer has “profited enormously.” She claims that there were less expensive sweeteners available to customers but Class Members were willing to pay extra for a “natural” product.
In addition to the Settlement Fund, Cumberland has also agreed to stop using the phrases “100% natural” or “all natural” on packages or labels of its Stevia In The Raw products.
Cumberland denies that its advertising and labeling of Stevia In The Raw is deceptive but has agreed to the terms of the Stevia In The Raw class action lawsuit settlement in order to avoid the cost of further litigation.
A federal judge preliminarily approved the Stevia class action settlement on Dec. 16, 2015.
Stevia class action settlement Class Members include all U.S. residents who purchased Stevia In The Raw product for personal use between Oct. 9, 2009, and July 1, 2014. The Stevia In the Raw package must have contained the terms “natural,” “all natural” or “100% natural.”
Class Members may receive $2 for each package of Stevia In The Raw containing the terms “natural,” “all natural” or “100% natural” that was purchased between Oct. 9, 2009 and July 1, 2014, up to a maximum of 8 packages.
Proof of Purchase
No proof of purchase is required but in order to receive payment, Class Members must file a Claim Form. Only one Claim Form is permitted for each household.
Claim Form Deadline
Frohberg v. Cumberland Packing Corp., Case No. 1:14-cv-00748-KAM-RLM in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
Stevia In The Raw
c/o Dahl Administration
PO Box 3614
Minneapolis, MN 55403-0614
Michael R. Reese
Melissa W. Wolchansky
Benjamin Aaron Levine
Michael D. Scully
GORDON & REES LLP