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Hudson Valley Woman Sues Kellogg's Over Pop-Tarts Claim

Strawberry Pop Tarts.
Strawberry Pop Tarts. Photo Credit: Lawsuit/Spencer Sheehan

A Hudson Valley woman is suing Kellogg's in a multimillion-dollar lawsuit alleging its "Whole Grain Frosted Strawberry" Pop-Tarts are deceiving consumers because they don't have enough strawberries.

According to the lawsuit, Dutchess County resident Elizabeth Russett, who lives in Beacon, claims she and others in the class-action suit are owed damages of $5 million because the Strawberry Pop-Tarts she bought contained fewer strawberries than expected.

Russett is being represented by Spencer Sheehan of Sheehan & Associates P.C. of Great Neck, who is also representing another person in Illinois for the same reason.

In the lawsuit, filed on Tuesday, Oct. 19 with the US District Court of the Southern District of New York, Sheehan claims the name of the product is misleading "because strawberries are its characterizing ingredient, yet the labeling fails to disclose the Product merely attempts to taste like strawberries."

“Consumers deserve to know that when they see something labeled as ‘strawberry,’ it mainly contains strawberry,” Sheehan told NBC News. “Words have to have some meaning.”

In the suit, the order of ingredients are listed:

  • vegetable juice for color,
  • dried pears, 
  • dried apples, 
  • dried strawberries, 
  • sodium stearoyl lactylate, 
  • citric acid, 
  • modified wheat starch, 
  • DATEM, 
  • cornstarch,
  •  gelatin, 
  • xanthan gum, 
  • brown rice syrup, 
  • paprika extract color,
  • soy lecithin, 
  • Vitamin A palmitate, 
  • niacinamide, 
  • reduced iron, 
  • Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride), 
  • Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), 
  • Vitamin B1 (thiamin hydrochloride). 24. 

The next ingredients listed are “dried pears, dried apples, and dried strawberries.”

It goes on to state that the amount of strawberry ingredients is insufficient not merely to provide the nutrient benefits of strawberries but to provide a strawberry taste.

The internet and TV late-night hosts are having fun with the case, but Sheehan told NBC News he just delights in identifying everyday consumer injustices and going after them.

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