Is Gerber Misleading Parents?

When you see this package  at the supermarket, what do you imagine your youngster will be eating?

If you guessed processed orange, peach, and strawberry pieces, try again. The first two ingredients listed in Gerber’s Juice Treats‘ nutrition label are Corn Syrup and Sugar!

A few parents found the product packaging was deceiving. They thought their tots were munching on a healthy snack, but essentially they got a candy (70% of the content by weight is sugar). So these parents decided to sue Gerber.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest :

The case brought against Gerber by a private citizen was initially dismissed by a Federal District Court in California, but then reinstated by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit on December 22. Gerber argued that consumers could avoid being misled by turning the package around and reading the ingredient list. But the Court stated that consumers should not be “expected to look beyond misleading representations on the front of the box to discover the truth from the ingredient list in small print on the side of the box.”

Remember, healthy sounding product names and lovely photos are means to portray an image that may be far from the un-nutritional reality. Reviewing the ingredient list and nutrition label is the only way to know what you are really getting. As a general rule of thumb, the lower the number of ingredients, and the less processed a food, the better it is for you.

As for toddlers, fresh fruits and dried fruit (pitted) are about the best treat to be had.

  • Tara Burner

    and that is why parents (well, everyone) should read labels…be educated…better yet…make their own food, or buy items that are whole, natural and not processed and in a box.

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  • Corey

    I don’t know, I mean I support health and nutrition but isn’t it the responsibility of the parent to make sure of what they’re feeding their kids? Gerber is a business, and their purpose is-to be frank- make money. And there is really nothing wrong with that. If they lied and screwed with the ingredient list, then yes they’re wrong and should be sued to ruin. But to put fruit on the front of their products is just business. Be a smart consumer, read labels.

  • Jenn

    I hate to admit it, but I actually agree with Gerber on this one. They have the ingredients listed right there. It is the responsibility of the parent to read the labels of anything they are giving to their kids. And besides, what ever happened to giving kids REAL food and not processed crap like most of the baby food and products on the market today.

    • staff

      It’s an interesting point you bring up. Where does the personal/parental responsibility end and the responsibility of the manufacturer begin? Food labeling laws were put in place so that consumers could know what they were getting. While outright lies are not tolerated by the FDA and consumers, there is definitely a gray area of claims and creative marketing that help persuade consumers to buy a product they otherwise would have skipped.