If You've Had This Juice Lately, You May Be Owed Money for Use of GMOs

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — The naked truth about Naked Juice may be that its all-natural juice isn't so natural after all. After a class action settlement, the juice smoothie giant is feeling the squeeze and fighting to keep "Non-GMO" statements on its product labels.

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Naked Juice, a subsidiary of PepsiCo, will dish out $9 million in settlement fees after a class action lawsuit alleged the company has been falsely advertising its product, specifically the "100% juice," "100% fruit," "from concentrate," "all natural," "all natural fruit," "all natural fruit + boosts," and "non-GMO' label statements. While PepsiCo and Naked Juice deny all these claims, Naked Juice has agreed to remove all but the "Non-GMO" statements from its packaging as part of the settlement.

So if you've bought Naked Juice between Sept. 27, 2007 and Aug. 19, 20013, you're eligible for some reimbursement: up to $45 without proof of purchase, or up to $75 if you still have the receipts. You'll need to file a claim by Dec. 17, 2013, which can be done online here.

In addition to the $9 million in settlement fees, Naked Juice will spend about $1.4 million to change its labels and prove its "Non-GMO" statement. The company will implement a product verification program that will apply a strict European standard that permits no more than 0.9% of GMO content per ingredient. For a minimum of three years—and to the tune of about $300,000—the program will test raw materials, the finished product and testing labs for GMOs, as well as audit supply chains, according to the Pappas v. Naked Juice Co. of Glendora, Inc. settlement agreement.

They will also have to "hire or assign a quality control manager to oversee the independent testing process for the Naked Juice product line, and establish and maintain a central database to permit the electronic tracking and verification of product ingredients," according to the class action lawsuit's website. Documents say it will cost approximately $650,000 for these implementations over the course of five years. They will also have to change their labels, costing approximately $450,000, according to settlement documents.

Naked Juice did not immediately respond for comment.

According to Aljazeera America, PepsiCO donated $2.4 million last year to "No On 37," a campaign against a California ballot measure that would have required products that use genetically engineered foods be clearly labeled. California voters rejected Proposition 37 last November.

--Written by Craig Donofrio for MainStreet

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