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Old 05-13-2003, 09:14 AM   #1
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baseless suit or protecting our health?

Suit seeks ban on Oreo cookies

SAN FRANCISCO, California (Reuters) --A lawyer who has spent much of his life enjoying Oreo cookies has sued Kraft Foods Inc. seeking to ban the much-loved cookies in California because they contain trans fat, an ingredient he calls inedible.

Kraft boasts that people have eaten 450 billion Oreo cookies since they introduced the chocolate wafer sandwich cookies with a creamy filling in 1912.

But if British-born attorney Stephen Joseph has his way, that culinary love affair will come to an end, at least until Kraft stops using hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils to make the cookies.

Kraft calls the suit filed in Marin County Superior Court just north of San Francisco baseless but Joseph says he is taking advantage of a provision of the California civil code that holds manufacturers liable for common products if not "known to be unsafe by the ordinary consumer."

The ingredient is used in thousands and thousands of products. In an interview on Monday, Joseph said, "I am probably full of hydrogenated fat because until two years ago I didn't know about it. I resent the fact that I have been eating that stuff all my life."

Hydrogenation adds hydrogen gas to vegetable oil, helping to solidify it into products such as margarine. Health experts say the process makes them as unhealthy as real butter, if not more so, as the hydrogenated fats act like cholesterol in the body. Trans fats are common in cookies and crackers and part of both the cookie and filling in Oreos.

'Shocking' case
"That's what's so shocking; that it has been so well hidden," said Joseph, who has set up an advocacy group called BanTransFats.com Inc. "I hope if nothing else comes of this lawsuit that more people know about trans fat than before."

Kraft says it is already testing alternatives to trans fats but said they will vigorously fight the lawsuit.

Its parent company Altria Group Inc. is also the owner of cigarette maker Philip Morris USA, itself no stranger to legal battles over product safety.

"We know the importance of good nutrition and we are committed to helping people lead a healthy lifestyle, but we have no choice than to draw the line against baseless lawsuits like this," Michael Mudd, Kraft's senior vice president for corporate affairs, said in an interview.

"We've been ... exploring ways to reduce trans fat in Oreos and those efforts are continuing," he continued. "You can make a cookie without trans fat but what you're trading off is the unique taste and texture that people have come to expect."

U.S. companies, the world masters in processed foods, are showing an awareness of trans fats. Frito-Lay, part of PepsiCo Inc., announced last year it would eliminate trans fats from snacks such as Doritos. McDonald's Corp. also said it would make French fries with less trans fat.

In February, a federal court threw out a lawsuit against McDonald's that claimed its burgers and fries cause obesity.

The commissioner for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has said the agency will soon require labeling information about trans fats in foods.
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Old 05-13-2003, 09:16 AM   #2
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Which is more unhealthly for our society - Oreos or an excess of lawyers?
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Old 05-13-2003, 10:05 AM   #3
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As if oreos without trans fat are healthy



this guy is an idiot....if you think oreos minus any one ingredient are good for you...you have bigger problems.
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Old 05-13-2003, 10:14 AM   #4
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So long as people are aware of the ingredients of oreos (ie through ingredients being listed on the package) and have the opportunity not to eat them if they're unhappy with that, I think this lawsuit is ridiculous.

And someone actually filed a lawsuit against McDonalds because it's food causes obesity? Oh my goodness. Surely anyone who's left primary school is aware that McDonalds food isn't the healthiest thing in the world. If they choose to eat it anyway then it's their own fault if they gain weight: they had the opportunity to avoid doing so and they didn't take it - they have no one to blame but themselves.
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Old 05-13-2003, 10:21 AM   #5
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Yeep, too many lawyers. You know, that's why they have to put warnings like "Do not drink" on Draino and things like that. No one in his right mind would think that it was healthy to drink Draino, but someone somewhere* down the line sued because they drank something poisonous that didn't have a warning label on it. They didn't have "do not drink" labels on Draino and stuff like that when I was a young whippersnapper.

*=you thought I'd type "in summertime" after "someone somewhere", didn't ya? By the way, you've got to be a Simple Minds fan to understand the reference...

And just in case anyone is thinking of suing me; no, I'm not discriminating against non Simple Minds fans!
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Old 05-13-2003, 10:24 AM   #6
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P.S. Oreos are yummy so I'd be mad if they were banned.

And LOL @ the Simple Minds reference, 80s.
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Old 05-13-2003, 10:47 AM   #7
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80s -- a warning had to placed in Winnebago manuals because a guy thought cruise control meant he could set it and go make himself a pot of coffee while the winnebago drove itself. Yes, a bottle of Draino needs a "do not drink" label on it but when you order coffee isn't it supposed to be hot? so why is there a label saying "contents are hot". duh! don't put the cup between your legs like the stupid woman who sued McDonalds did. There are legitimate cases and then there are these cases. I like Oreos but I not stupid enough to eat them everyday. And I'm stupid enough to eat McDonalds everyday either.
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Old 05-13-2003, 11:18 AM   #8
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Hey Sharky, better edit the last sentence!

By the way, don't misunderstand me...I think the Oreo's suit is completely baseless, just like that McDonalds suit was.

Speaking of legal matters, anyone see the movie about "3's Company" last night? Man, was Suzanne greedy or what?!
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Old 05-13-2003, 12:05 PM   #9
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Egads, we do have too many lawyers. What silly lawsuits.
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Old 05-13-2003, 01:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by 80sU2isBest
Hey Sharky, better edit the last sentence!

By the way, don't misunderstand me...I think the Oreo's suit is completely baseless, just like that McDonalds suit was.

Speaking of legal matters, anyone see the movie about "3's Company" last night? Man, was Suzanne greedy or what?!
ACK! Oh GAWD! I'm NOT stupid, I swear.

Totally got hooked on that Three's Company thing. Yes Suzanne was greedy but her husband was also an f-in' jerk. didn't she divorce him?
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Old 05-13-2003, 01:42 PM   #11
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Guess I need to sue Southwest Airlines for serving Oreos in their hydogenated fat-filled snack pack over the weekend.
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Old 05-13-2003, 05:15 PM   #12
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More people are likely to die from the effects of eating trans fatty food than smoking pot.

I think the lawsuit is going nowhere.

I also think it is 'almost ' a crime that so many of our American children are obese.

Second hand smoke is considered child abuse, but what is an 80 pound 5 year old?
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Old 05-14-2003, 09:05 AM   #13
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You can stick the deadliest of products in front of any consumer, and as long as you aren't misleading about content, who's responsibility is it really that you end up with an overweight/unhealthy nation?

Its so simple, its almost frightening. Once you leave the fresh produce section of your supermarket, you're putting items in your trolley that are plainly and simply bad for you.
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Old 05-14-2003, 09:55 AM   #14
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oreos are good for you
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