The Jelly Bean Rule, VitaminWater, and MonaVie


A couple of articles about lawsuits about VitaminWater caught my eye, recently. Though these two articles are somewhat the same, I thought I’d highlight both of them:

The crux of the case seems to be the name of VitaminWater and how it is misleading to consumers. The argument is that the consumers could easily believe it is water and vitamins, where in truth fructose and sucrose play significant roles in the product (and contributes significant calories). The judge’s recent statement about VitaminWater was:

“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.”

Now, before we get carried away, this isn’t a definitive ruling against Coca-Cola… it looks like it just means that Coke didn’t win a dismissal of the case. However, what caught my eye here is the last statement:

Such [healthy] claims are in violation of violation of FDA regulations because . . . vitaminwater achieves its nutritional content solely through fortification that violates FDA policy.

The above is something that is commonly known as the Jelly Bean Rule defined by the FDA on May 19, 1994. The idea behind it is that one can not claim jelly beans are healthy just because they are low in fat, sodium, and cholesterol. According to Wikipedia, the Jelly Bean Rule specifically states, “It says foods low in fat, cholesterol, and sodium cannot claim to be ‘healthy’ unless they contain at least 10 percent of: vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, protein, fiber, or iron. The FDA also made a policy that companies could not fortify foods with the sole intent of making that claim.”

MonaVie has been claiming for sometime that their juice is healthy. It would appear that they can do that since a serving of MonaVie has 25% of the RDA of vitamin C. However, I believe that vitamin C to be fortified (I don’t believe it is natural for an ounce of juice to have 25% of the RDA of vitamin C). If that vitamin C is fortified, then MonaVie seems to have been running afoul of the FDA’s jelly bean rule for years.

Of course that all changes with MonaVie Essential… a new generation of fortified juices. Oh wait, it doesn’t change because MonaVie has once again fortified the product. This time they are fortifying even more with vitamins A and E, B6 and B12, and fiber.

If people are this upset over the misleading name of VitaminWater, I can’t imagine what they’ll say about the illegal health claims that MonaVie has been making for years.

Originally posted 2010-07-25 22:23:32. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

The above article is intended to be accurate at the time of its original posting. MonaVie may change its pricing, product, or other policies at any time without notice.

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Posted by MonaVie Scam on February 1, 2019 in monavie, VitaminWater. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

8 Responses to “The Jelly Bean Rule, VitaminWater, and MonaVie”
  1. Candace Says:

    Very interesting. Wonder how this will play out.

  2. mysterious Says:

    i think that this should be all over the net so not only just people looking at monavie info can find this page but the whole world can. i think this is indeed very interisting like candace said. time will tell.

  3. CGC Says:

    I think saying that the Jelly Bean Rule could be applied to MonaVie is a real stretch, and if it were applied to MonaVie it would also apply to almost every other juice. MonaVie is 100% fruit juice and its nutritional value is on par with most fruit juices on the market. A daily serving of 4 ounces could be considered a serving of fruit.

    Moreover, the “official” health claims are carefully worded, e.g., “Powerful antioxidants found in fruits—like those in MonaVie—help prevent cellular damage by neutralizing free radicals.” Now that isn’t the same as saying MonaVie helps prevent cellular damage, but that technique is the same used by most food marketers.

  4. MonaVie Scam Says:

    It is true that many other juices would run afoul of the Jelly Bean Rule as well. It is also true that other food marketers use the same techniques.

    However, I wouldn’t say that it makes it right or legal.

    I would expect a drink making all the health claims it has made to pass the Jelly Bean Rule with flying colors.

  5. Mackwiz Says:

    I am actually not opposed to the idea that MonaVie is marketed as a health juice. That is commonplace these days. The problem is that saying MonaVie is healthy barely scratches the surface of what this company and its clients are doing.

    I am no expert but the Wikipedia page on Camu Camu berries (ingredient in MonaVie) is supposed to be chock full of Vitamin C. Could this contribute to the percentage in one ounce?

  6. CGC Says:

    Here’s a concise and somewhat skeptical look at commercial fruit juice:

    There’s a little section on “exotic fruits” with the following bit regarding acai:

    “Not a single published study has looked at
    whether people who drink it are any healthier than people who don’t.”

  7. Keara Says:

    LOL!!! The FDA didn’t approve it so it’s not healthy?!? The FDA won’t even shut down factories that have more than 1 food contamination incident are behind a commission called Codex Alimentarius that is going to make sure that ALL PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD will no longer have any rights to buying NATURAL SUPPLEMENTS in high doses to cure disease or treat minor illness. I’m so disgusted in this website. WAKE UP PEOPLE!!! Do your research on VITAMINS IN HIGH DOSES, MIRACLE FOODS, and the FDA’s horrible ghost writing tactics. Wow… I gotta get away from this site.. (lol)

  8. MonaVie Scam Says:

    I don’t think I said that all healthy things are approved by the FDA. The point was that products can’t trick consumers with health claims that are simply not true. These requirements are there to help consumers, but it looks like Keara isnt interested in that.

    Why research vitamins in high doses on a site about MonaVie which has almost no vitamins.

    Yes, please get away from this site if you are going to continue to discuss the FDA and not the topic of MonaVie.

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