Mars faces labelling court case

Mars faces labelling court case

Mars Inc has failed to get a lawsuit alleging its labelling of five popular chocolate products violates state and federal regulations, thrown out of court.

The US district court for northern California denied Mars' motion to dismiss the case, which is being brought against the chocolate giant by plaintiff Phyllis Gustavson.

In the lawsuit, Gustavson argues that M&M Chocolate Candy, Twix Cookie Bar, Dove Bar dark chocolate, Dove Bar milk chocolate and Snickers Bar products are "misbranded" in violation of federal and state law. The plaintiff contends that these chocolate products are "deceptively packaged and labelled". She suggests that the misinformation disseminated by Mars prompted her to purchase these products at a higher price point when she would have otherwise foregone the items.

The complaint alleges that defendants' misled consumers on four counts by "making unlawful and misleading nutrient content claims" regarding flavanols, by "making unlawful and misleading calorie claims" and by failing to identify the ingredient "polyglycerol polyricinoleic acid" by its common name.

The case will now be heard in full by the court.

Mars did not immediately return requests for comment.