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Lawsuit alleges high levels of PFAs in Simply Orange Juice

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A class-action lawsuit has been filed against The Simply Orange Juice Company, and it’s owner Coca-Cola. The suit alleges that the companies deceived customers with claims of an all-natural juice when it was in fact found to be contaminated with toxic PFAs at levels “hundreds of times” above the federal advisory limit.

The suit alleges that the Simply Orange’s “Simply Tropical” juice drink is falsely labeled as “all natural”.

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAs) are a group of human-made chemicals that are used in a wide range of industrial products. They were invented in 1946, when DuPont introduced nonstick cookware coated with Teflon. Today PFAs can be found in thousands of nonstick and waterproof products.

PFAs are often referred to as “forever chemicals” because they never break down in the environment, and they remain in the human body for years.

PFAs were discovered in Hopkinton’s drinking water in September 2021.

The lawsuit was filed in the Southern District of New York, and requests that the plaintiffs be awarded monetary compensation. At issue are the claims made on the Simply Natural bottles, including mentions of “all natural ingredients” and “nothing to hide”. Simply Natural states that it is made with “filtered water”, which leads consumers to believe it is safe and free of impurities.

The complaint reads “In reality, testing has revealed that the product contains [PFAs], a category of synthetic chemicals that are, by definition, not natural.”

Last year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that virtually no exposure to PFAs in drinking water is safe. The EPA published a lengthy explanation of PFAs on their website, including tips on how to avoid consuming them.

Unrelated to the lawsuit, some readers may be surprised to learn how commercial orange juice is made.

* this story has been corrected to include the detail that the lawsuit applies to Simply Tropical.

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