I’ll admit, when I first heard about the Canada Dry fake ginger ale lawsuit it seemed a little silly.

For those who don’t know – the makers of Canada Dry ginger ale have been sued in class action cases for false advertising. The plaintiffs’ claim: Canada Dry’s drink is not really ginger ale but more like a ginger-flavored ale.

Is that a problem? Should we even care? It is easy to have a knee-jerk reaction and say NO. Too many lawsuits. Greedy plaintiffs and lawyers.


But think about it: the Canada Dry Ginger Ale can states on the front: “MADE FROM REAL GINGER.”

If the lawsuits’ claims are accurate – that is just flat-out wrong. Should a company be able to lie to us? Can a food product blatantly misrepresent its ingredients? I say NO!

Admittedly I am a little biased as an attorney who practices in consumer rights class action work and a staunch advocate for truth and fairness in advertising. But even if you aren’t a calorie-counting, organic, vegan, paleo – health food type, you still have a right to expect that advertising is accurate and honest. After all, if the claims are true, Canada Dry knew it didn’t contain ginger but printed that statement anyway.


The New York plaintiff in this lawsuit claims she was aware of the health benefits of ginger and thought it was a healthier soda alternative for her children. Does she have a right to think that? Don’t consumers have some responsibility to read the label and understand what they are purchasing?

Maybe so… but that doesn’t give companies a license to mislead, deceive, misrepresent, confuse, or lie. Allegedly.

How many consumers were deciding on a ginger ale (Schweppes, Seagrams, Vernors) and saw that Canada Dry was actually made from real ginger so they chose that? Maybe not a huge number but certainly some. Companies should not be able to take advantage of consumers by making false claims. This is particularly true about the products we put in or on our body.

So when people make fun of the ginger ale case or claim that these are frivolous lawsuits, stop and think for a second… this isn’t a case about ginger ale. This is a case about a food company – allegedly – lying through its teeth about the ingredients in its product.

That is a fight I think is always worth fighting and a practice that should always be brought in check by our system. I say cheers to these plaintiffs … real ginger included.


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