Very High PFAS Levels Contaminating Popular Orange Juice: Lawsuit

A new lawsuit has been filed against Coca-Cola, manufacturer of “Simply Orange” juice. The lawsuit argues that  Simply Orange Juice deceives customers with claims of an all-natural, healthy product when the juice has been found to be contaminated with toxic PFAS chemicals* at levels “hundreds of times” above federal advisory limits for drinking water.**  Additionally, the suit argues that the labeling is part of the Simply Juice wider marketing campaign, which positions the orange juice as being “transparent, natural, simple in order to gain the trust of reasonable consumers who reasonably believe that the product is free from synthetic” ingredients and “is intentionally designed to drive sales and increase profits by targeting health-conscious consumers”. The lawsuit was filed in the southern district of New York and asks a judge to order monetary compensation and take other “appropriate” steps.

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*PFAS chemicals (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are toxic to humans, animals and the environment. They are comprised of approximately 12,000 compounds. They are ubiquitous in the U.S., appearing in thousands of consumer and industrial products and are typically used to make products resist water, stains and heat, including household products (like carpeting, curtains, furniture upholstery, waterproof and stain-resistant flooring, etc.), cooking supplies (including cooking utensils and bake ware), clothing, personal care products (like cosmetics, including waterproof mascara) and even food (PFAS appears in processed food packaging for humans and pets) and public drinking water (tap water) that affects an estimated 2 million Americans. PFAS chemicals are usually found in products labeled “stain-proof” and “waterproof”.  PFAS chemicals also appear in fire-fighting foam and other industrial products used at airports and military bases across the country, where the chemicals have leached into the groundwater. PFAS chemicals are known as “forever chemicals” because they do not readily break down in the environment or human body.  PFAS chemicals have been linked in scientific and medical studies to a variety of serious health conditions including cancer (including testicular cancers), kidney disease, heart disease, thyroid problems, reproductive problems, endocrine problems (PFAS has been found to disrupt hormonal functions with some research suggesting that the PFAS chemicals are linked to accelerated ovarian aging, period irregularities and ovarian disorders like polycystic ovarian syndrome) and liver problems. Some newer PFAS have been found to accumulate in organs, so in some cases, science simply cannot detect the toxic chemicals when testing for it in blood.

The lawsuit describes third-party testing that found PFOA and PFOS, two of the most dangerous PFAS compounds, which were used for decades before being largely phased out in the US, but which continue to contaminate the nation’s food, water, products and general environment.

**The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declared in 2022 that virtually no exposure to the two PFAS compounds PFOA and PFOS in drinking water is safe. Testing from academic and EPA researchers over the last two years has found high levels of the chemicals can leach into food and other products that have been treated with PFAS.

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For more information on the adverse health effects linked with PFAS chemicals in scientific studies, as well as lawsuits concerning PFAS, go to our Chemical Watch Blog, scroll down to the bottom of the page on any post and enter “PFAS” into the search box.  You can also contact us and we will do an internal search of our database for you.