Snapple may have to pay up for claiming iced tea is 'all natural'


Talk about a mixed bag. On the same day that Dr. Pepper Snapple Group (DPS) reported much better-than-expected earnings, gave a great raised outlook, and saw its share jump more than 5 percent, it had to contend with a consumer-fraud suit, revived yesterday by the U.S. Court of Appeals in Philadelphia, alleging that Snapple fraudulently promoted its product as "all natural" at a time when it contained an artificial sweetener.

Stacy Holk sued the company in state court in New Jersey, and the case was shifted to federal court in 2007 as a class-action suit. Last year, a judge threw it out, ruling that Holk's claims in state court were preempted by FDA regulation of food and beverage labeling -- meaning that because the product is regulated federally, the company cannot face litigation in state court.