Consumers these days want products with natural ingredients, and they are willing to pay more for them. This has led some companies to make “natural” or “all natural” claims for products that aren’t really true. The complaint for this class action alleges that Trans-India Products Inc., which does business as Shikai Products, represents that its shampoos, lotions, and other products are “natural” when they actually contain synthetic ingredients.
The class for this action is all consumers who bought the products at issue anywhere in the US during the class period. There is also a New York Subclass for those who bought the products in New York. The class period is not defined.
The fronts of the containers of the products are depicted in the complaint. They often show the word “natural,” Sometimes the word is above the product name (for example, “Natural Tea Tree Conditioner”); the Borage Therapy products have a tag line under the Borage Therapy brand name that says “The Natural Solution.”
However, the complaint lists fourteen allegedly synthetic substances that are found in the products. Beneath each product image is a list of the synthetic ingredients it contains, usually with four to six entries.
For example, the Children’s Lotion has a Borage Therapy label including the tag line, “The Natural Solution,” but it contains glyceryl stearate, glycerin, cetyl alcohol, Vitamin E acetate (tocopherol), dimethicone, phenoxyethanol, and ethylhexyglycerin.
Similarly, the Everyday Conditioner has the word “natural” above the product name, but it contains cetearyl alcohol, glycerin, panthenol, phenoxyethanol, ehtylhexylglycerin.
According to the complaint, “Congress has defined ‘synthetic’ to mean a substance that is formulated or manufactured by a process that chemically changes a substance extracted from naturally occurring plants, animals, or mineral sources…” It says, “A reasonable consumer understands Defendant’s ‘Natural’ claims to mean that the Products are ‘Natural’ and do not contain synthetic ingredients.”
These are the products at issue: