4 Common Food Lies We May Never Have to Hear Again

generic juice bottlesA new Supreme Court ruling could soon give our food an overdue makeover. Justices said that Coca-Cola can be sued for false advertising, as their "Pomegranate Blueberry Flavored Blend of 5 Juices" is actually just a sugary drink containing only 0.3 percent pomegranate juice. POM Wonderful (makers of 100 percent pomegranate juice) took Coke (makers of Minute Maid) to court, pointing to a 1946 law intended to prevent companies from claiming that impostors are the real thing.

This news could have a wide-sweeping effect that extends well beyond pomegranate juice. It's a warning to any food manufacturer who thinks they can get away with selling us something with a label replete with misinformation and lies.

Here, big food lies that this ruling will (hopefully!) stop from being told ...

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  1. "Drink this 'juice'!" In his opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy denounced "practices that allegedly mislead and trick consumers, all to the injury of competitors." This is being seen as a pretty clear message to food companies that they can't label something with barely any juice, well, "juice"!
  2. "Try our vitamin-packed health beverage!" Certain drinks make it sound like you're actually sipping a liquid multivitamin, but the truth may be that you're drinking "non-carbonated fruit [soda] disguised as a sports drink" -- with actually more calories and sugar than a 12-ounce serving of cola! -- and not very many vitamins at all. (At least not enough to make up for all that sugar!)
  3. "Of course there's nothing processed or cringeworthy in our product!" Foodmakers have been able to get away with hiding certain ingredients in tiny print or disguising them in terms like "natural flavors" (which could mean MSG or cochineal, a food coloring made from the bodies of a scaly female insect!). Perhaps not for long?
  4. "It's all-natural!" There's currently no regulation on this term -- neither the USDA nor the Federal Trade Commission has a strict definition of it, and the FDA says it "has not objected to the use of the term if the food does not contain added color, artificial flavors, or synthetic substances." Hmm. So, as a result, it's used rampantly -- and falsely. It's not uncommon to come across a product with processed sweetener, lab-produced flavors and colors, additives, preservatives, etc., that is still labeled "all-natural." Talk about buyer beware! But maybe this ruling will make it easier to steer clear of these imposters!

More from The Stir: Our Food Labels Are Getting a MAJOR Makeover -- See for Yourself! (PHOTO)

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Image via ©Istock/Tjanze

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