MIAMI (April 4, 2012) — Morgan & Morgan P.A., a personal injury law firm with offices in Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, and Tennessee, and Levine Kellogg Lehman Schneider + Grossman LLP, a Miami-based commercial law firm, have filed four separate class actions against Publix Super Markets, Inc., Target Corporation, Walgreen Co. and Aldi, Inc., claiming that the retailers falsely and deceptively label their “honey” products.
Two Florida consumers sued Publix in Florida state court, Eleventh Judicial Circuit, over Publix’s private-label “Orange Blossom Honey” and “Pure Clover Honey.” Three other Florida consumers filed separate federal-court actions in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida against Target, which makes “Market Pantry” and “Archer Farms” honeys; Walgreens, which makes Walgreens brand and “Nice” honey; and Aldi, which sells its “Berryhill Clover Honey” in stores throughout Florida.
The lawsuits allege that Publix, Target, Walgreens and Aldi remove all traces of naturally occurring pollen from their honey products, violating Florida’s “honey standard of identity,” which requires that no pollen be removed “except where unavoidable in the removal of foreign matter,” such as bug parts, wax and debris. The plaintiffs allege that the retailers filter their branded honeys so extensively that all of the pollen is removed unnecessarily.
Attorneys J. Andrew Meyer of Morgan & Morgan P.A.’s National Class Action Department in Tampa and Jason Kellogg of Levine Kellogg Lehman Schneider + Grossman LLP in Miami filed the suits on behalf of the plaintiffs.
“Any reasonable consumer believes that when they buy a product labeled ‘honey,’ it actually is honey,” Meyer said. “It needs to meet the legal standard. If not, the company that sells the product needs to label it in a way that distinguishes it from real honey so that consumers aren’t misled.”
According to the complaints, pollen contains numerous health benefits and is rich in protein, vitamins and minerals and is used to trace the plant origin of honey. Without pollen, the product’s source—whether it be “orange blossom,” “clover” or otherwise—cannot be verified.
Additionally, pollen is necessary to trace the geographic origin of honey. The plaintiffs’ lawsuits refer to recent news reports regarding the large-scale smuggling of Chinese honey into the United States market, noting that unscrupulous Chinese honey manufacturers frequently use an ultra-filtration process to disguise the origin of their honey. In some instances, the honey was contaminated with chemicals such as metals and antibiotics.
“Consumers deserve some assurances that the type and source of their honey can be verified,” Kellogg said. “Honey without pollen just isn’t honey.”
Meyer and Kellogg estimate that there may be thousands if not tens of thousands of potential customers who purchased honey without pollen from Publix, Target, Walgreens, Aldi and others in the past four years, and intend to file additional lawsuits against other retailers who sell honey without pollen.
For more information, visit http://www.lkllaw.com/cases/honey/ or call J. Andrew Meyer toll-free at 800.825.5505 or Jason Kellogg at 305-403-8788.
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Interested press are invited to interview J. Andrew Meyer and Jason Kellogg and may seek to be added to an email list as developments transpire in the case.
About Morgan & Morgan P.A.
Morgan & Morgan lawyers provide counsel and legal advice in numerous areas of accident, injury, product liability, and employment law. The Firm’s National Class Action Department specializes in class action law. All of the Firm’s legal endeavors are rooted in its core mission: provide consumer protection and always fight “for the people.”
About Levine Kellogg Lehman Schneider + Grossman LLP
LKLSG is a Miami-based commercial law firm providing focused, efficient, and hands-on representation in high-stakes legal proceedings including complex commercial litigation, class actions, bankruptcy and receiverships, lender/borrower litigation and workouts, and labor and employment litigation.