Two of three class actions filed in St. Clair County that allege food items falsely claiming they are “all natural” have been dismissed. The case against Grecian Delight is the only one still being litigated.
The suits say the products all contain a synthetic chemical – sodium acid pyrophosphate, or SAPP – which also is used to remove iron stains in leather products, as an oil drilling fluid and to de-feather poultry.
They also say that excessive intake of SAPP can lead to imbalanced levels of minerals in the body and osteoporosis.
“[T]he FDA has said (it) has no place in purportedly all natural products,” the suits say.
Plaintiff Jaime Blankenship brought two of the cases – one against 3 Fellers Bakery of Goochland, Va. Over its Coffee Cake Bars and another against Grecian Delights Foods of Elk Grove Village over its Hand Stretched Naan flatbread.
Plaintiff Timothy Blankenship is suing Dancing Deer Baking Co. of Boston over its All Natural Gluten Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.
Associate Judge Randall Kelley dismissed with prejudice the suit against 3 Fellers Bakery on Aug. 19 after Blankenship’s attorney David C. Nelson of Nelson & Nelson in Belleville filed a stipulation for dismissal.
Similarly, Kelley dismissed without prejudice the suit against Dancing Deer Baking on June 8 after Nelson filed a stipulation for dismissal on June 2.
Both plaintiffs say they made their purchases at Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, which opened in January. The store describes itself as offering “value-priced fresh, healthy, natural and organic” items.
The plaintiffs seek damages for the defendants’ alleged “false, deceptive, unfair and misleading marketing and advertising” in violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act.
They say the defendants are “taking advantage of a growing market of truly all natural products by labeling products as ‘All Natural’ that are not.”
The plaintiffs say they seek no more than $75,000 per class member and $4,999,999 for the entire class - $1 less than a federal jurisdiction requirement.
Circuit Judge Vincent Lopinot scheduled a status conference for the remaining case against Grecian Delight on Oct. 19 at 9 a.m.
St. Clair County Circuit Court case numbers 15-L-254 (3 Fellers Bakery), 15-L-255 (Grecian Delight) and 15-L-256 (Dancing Deer Baking)