Campbell Soup Co. and the American Heart Association (AHA) have been sued for allegedly making false claims on the company’s Healthy Request soup labels.

The dispute centres on claims Campbell’s Healthy Request soups are “designed to deceive or otherwise mislead consumers” into thinking they have low sodium levels.

Kerry O’Shea, who filed the case in the US District Court of New Jersey, alleges the AHA certifies products that are far less healthy than it advises consumers to eat.

According to the complaint, a single serving of Campbell’s AHA-certified soups contains nearly three times the amount of sodium permitted by the AHA’s noncommercial nutritional guidelines, while a full can contains between six and seven times that amount. O’Shea is seeking both companies to pay damages.

A spokesperson for Campbell said it had not been served with the lawsuit when contacted by just-food yesterday (16 August) and would not comment on the allegations of the complaint.

However, she added: “We have complete confidence in the accuracy of our labels and our marketing communications and that they meet regulatory and other legal requirements.”

A spokesperson for the AHA, meanwhile, said it does not comment on pending litigation. “Our Food Certification Program regularly conducts laboratory testing to verify that products earning the Heart Check meet our nutritional criteria, which are more stringent than those of the Food and Drug Administration,” he added.