Coca-Cola Faced with Millions in Fines in ‘Damages Due to Toxic Forever Chemicals’ Lawsuit

The Coca-Cola company is facing a lawsuit over claims that their Simply Tropical Juice has toxic forever chemicals. The lawsuit claims that the product is deceitful for customers because it’s labeled as an all-natural product, which isn’t the case.

The lawsuit claims that third-party tests have found PFAS or forever chemicals in this product. The levels were hundreds of times higher than the federal limits to the levels allowed in drinking water.

Exposure to high levels of PFAS increases the risk of testicular and kidney cancer, liver disease, fetal complications, and higher cholesterol. 

The Coca-Cola Company Faces a Lawsuit Over PFAS in Simply Tropical Juice 

Joseph Lurenz filed the lawsuit against the Coca-Cola Company and the Simply Orange Juice Company on the 28th of December last year at the US District Court for the Southern District of New York. The lawsuit notes that the label of the juice falsely claims that the product is natural.

Mr. Lurenz says that the defendants knew that the fruit juice had dangerous chemicals that posed a risk to the health and well-being of consumers, yet they didn’t disclose the information to the public. 

The third-party tests showed that this juice has PFAS. The specific test results weren’t provided; however, the lawsuit notes that the levels were hundreds of times above the federal limits for drinking water. 

These limits were made stricter in 2022 and are now 0.02 ppt for PFOS and 0.004 for PFOA. For the time being, it’s unknown how the PFAS chemicals may have contaminated the water used for the juice. 

PFAS are also present in items like food packaging and cookware that are used for their heat-resistant, non-stick, and water-resistant characteristics. The FDA emphasizes that PFAS don’t break down easily and that they can accumulate in the human body and the environment. 

The same characteristics that make PFAS helpful in products are also what makes them dangerous for consumption. You can be exposed to PFAS in various ways. Water is the main way. They’re also present in fish, soil, and the air and there are thousands of PFAS used for the production of different products.

As a globally recognized brand, the Coca-Cola Company is well aware of the importance of labeling and marketing, as well as of the value of the label representations which they carefully choose for product placement. The lawsuit says that the brand name of the product is given to boost sales in consumers who don’t suspect foul play.  

They target buyers who are health conscious and think that the tropical juice is all-natural and free of chemicals. The plaintiff is asking for monetary compensation for himself and the class suit, as well as an award for damage and civil penalties towards the brand.

PFAS Explained 

PFAS are man-made chemicals that are used to repel oil and water and as a coating for common products like textiles, carpets, and cookware. 

Unfortunately, these chemicals disrupt the endocrine hormones and don’t dissolve when released into the environment, but rather they continue to accumulate. 

PFAS are harmful to drinking water supplies and contamination has been detected in waters near manufacturing areas, military bases, and firefighting training facilities.

PFAS are also present in the food supply via food packaging materials and contaminated soil.