Some of the labels promise things like Vitaminwater will keep you “healthy as a horse” and in a “healthy state of physical or mental being.”
While Coca Cola, which has owned Vitaminwater since 2007, claims that phrases such as “vitamins + water = all you need” are “only puffery,” a federal judge has ruled that these sort of claims constitute a violation of FDA regulations. Here is what the judge John Gleeson had to say:
“By including the suggestion that the product will ‘keep you healthy’ or ‘help bring about a healthy state of physical and mental being’ alongside such statements, the quoted language implies that the nutrient content of Vitaminwater may help consumers maintain healthy dietary practices. I conclude, therefore, in light of the language and context in which they are used, that the statements on the ‘defense’ and ‘B- Relaxed‘ labels constitute implied nutrient content claims which use the word ‘healthy.’ Such claims are in violation of violation of FDA regulations because… Vitaminwater achieves its nutritional content solely through fortification that violates FDA policy.”
On January 14, 2009, the Center for Science in the Public Interest filed a class-action lawsuit which alleges that the marketing of Vitaminwater as a “healthful alternative” to soda is deceptive and that it violates Food and Drug Administration guidelines.
While Coca Cola dismissed the lawsuit as “ridiculous,” they have to prove it in a court of law.