Last year the mother of a 4-year-old filed a lawsuit against Nutella. In her complaint, she said she was "shocked to learn" from her friends "that Nutella was in fact not a 'healthy,' 'nutritious' food," as advertised, "but was instead the next best thing to a candy bar."
How about reading the label before you serve it to your kids? was my response. Fortunately, for her, the court is a lot more sympathetic to her plight and just ruled in her favor. According to The Consumerist, the court agreed that an advertisement for the hazel-nutty goodness is misleading and settled the class action lawsuit for about $3 million. If you live in California, you can even get a piece of that pricey pie if you bought Nutella between January 1, 2008 and February 3, 2012.
As a mom, I suppose I should be happy to see the evil companies trying to push unhealthy products down our kids' throats punished. Instead, I'm just aghast.
The advertisements don't claim it to be health food. In fact, the words in the following advertisement (one of those that was named in the lawsuit) says nothing about it being low-fat, low in sugar, or anything else that would lead one to believe it is. It says it's "made with simple, quality ingredients like hazelnuts, skim milk, and a hint of cocoa. They love the taste, and I feel good that they're ready to tackle the day. Nutella—breakfast never tasted this good." That's a lot different than saying it's akin to broccoli.
Even if that's what you somehow infer, we tell our children all the time not to believe everything they see or hear, so why should we? If a mom has time to pay attention to a television commercial, then surely she has time to pick up a jar of Nutella and check the nutrition label.
It's a company's job to try to sell us their products, and it's our job as consumers -- and particularly as parents -- to decide if we want to or should buy them and how to use them once we do (in moderation most things, like Nutella, are fine). I'm sick of parents blaming everyone from McDonald's and their Happy Meal toys to cereal companies and their jovial cartoon characters for trying to make their kids fat and unhealthy, when it's our job first and foremost to determine what foods they eat and don't. It's a little thing called personal responsibility.
So congratulations on the lawsuit, but I find it ridiculous, and it's frankly insulting to consumers and mothers who DO read labels.
Do you find this lawsuit ridiculous?
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