Coca-Cola’s ‘All-Natural’ Juice Packed with ‘Forever Chemicals,’ Lawsuit Claims

A brand of orange by Coca-Cola and Simply Orange Juice is falsely advertised as “all-natural,” but packed with toxic “forever chemicals” hundreds of times over federal limits, according to a lawsuit.

Forever Chemicals Extremely Dangerous, Widespread

The class-action lawsuit was filed in New York’s southern district, asking a local judge to take “appropriate” measures on the matter, including by ordering monetary compensation, The Guardian reported

The legal documents state that Simply Orange Juice and the Coca-Cola company “deceived customers” by lying that their product was healthy.

In contrast, it had PFAS – Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances – surpassing “hundreds of times” those chemicals’ federally allowed amounts for drinking water. There are some 12,000 PFAS, also known as “forever chemicals,” because they do not disintegrate naturally and are resistant to water, heat, and stains.

The chemical substances in question have been connected with the causes of cancer, kidney disease, liver disease, fetal complications, autoimmune disorders, and other grave health issues in humans.

The report points out while scientists thought water has been the primary source of exposure to PFAS, recent studies have pointed out the dangers of contaminated food.

Even so, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) failed to “address food contamination” with forever chemicals, according to critics. Public health advocates insist the FDA methodology for annual food product tests “ignores” the “dangerous levels” of forever chemicals. 

Tom Neltner, who is the chemicals policy director of a nonprofit called the Environmental Defense Fund, warned there would be more and more of “these lawsuits” because the FDA was “falling behind” on its food testing. 

Aggressive Marketed as ‘All Natural’

The lawsuit over the “all-natural juice” of Coca-Cola and Simply attacks the branding and packaging claims about how the drink contains “all-natural ingredients” with “nothing to hide” because it is “simply natural.”

The product’s description also claims it contains “filtered water,” which causes consumers to think “any accidental chemicals or pollutants” have been removed. However, the court documents emphasize that PFAS have been found in the juice through testing and the synthetic chemicals in question are “not natural.”

Besides the labeling, the suit also attacks Simply’s marketing campaign with its message that the product is “transparent, natural, and simple.”

It states third-party testing has discovered two of the most harmful compounds – PFOA and PFOS. Those have been phased out in America, but still contaminate the environment nationwide. 

The lawsuit does not give the specific test results, but claims they are “hundreds of times” above the US limits for drinking water – as there are no orange juice limits adopted. 

The class-action lawsuit in New York comes after just last month, another class-action motion asked a judge to make Inhance, a company based in Houston, Texas, terminate its addition of PFAS to plastic. 

The report noted it was unclear how the forever chemicals ended up in the Simply Orange juice, with possible avenues for that including the water, the packaging, or fruit. 

According to Neltner, the PFAS levels would have been much higher if the chemicals had been added intentionally.