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This Popular Flavored Sparkling Water Is Being Sued for False Ingredients

A lawsuit claims this beloved grocery chain has duped customers.

If you're a sparkling water fan, you're probably serious about your fizz fix. That appears to be the case for lovers of this sparkling water from one of the world's most-loved supermarket chains, now that a lawsuit was filed against the grocer this week. The plaintiff claims that although the store is usually known for going natural, this time the brand failed to deliver on its essence.

The National Law Review reports that on April 11 in the Southern District of New York, a class action lawsuit was filed against Whole Foods. The plaintiff, who currently doesn't appear to be identified, alleges that Whole Foods' Lemon Raspberry Italian Sparkling Mineral Water is barely lemon or raspberry, apparently because the water contained such trivial traces of both fruits' ingredients that it can't be merited by law to list these fruits as ingredients.

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If the legal complaint itself seems trivial, here's where the argument gets technical—from the report: "The lawsuit … alleges that because the ingredient list does not separately identify raspberry or lemon ingredients, flavor derived from these ingredients is only a de minimis part of the Organic Natural Flavor and does not meet the consumer expectation of 'appreciable amounts' of these ingredients."

Whole Foods Lemon Raspberry Sparkling Water
Courtesy of Whole Foods Market

This Whole Foods Lemon Raspberry Italian Sparkling Mineral Water was actually put under lab analysis, whose results the plaintiff says are proof "that the product does not contain the range of compounds that would be expected if real raspberries and lemons were used."

How to translate all this? We checked out the ingredients list: carbonated mineral water and "Organic natural flavours (raspberry, lemon)." From our interpretation, it appears the plaintiff asserts that the "flavors" part of "organic natural flavors" goes at odds with the raspberry and lemon being either organic, or natural, or actual ingredients in the water.

Like we said, some people take their sparkling water seriously. If you're one of them, check out our list of the 10 Best Sparkling Waters To Buy.

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Krissy Gasbarre
Krissy is a senior news editor at Eat This, Not That!, managing morning and weekend news related to nutrition, wellness, restaurants and groceries (with a focus on beverages), and more. Read more about Krissy