Four women from New Jersey became confused when they noticed the regular and sodium reduced tomato soup both contain 480mg of sodium (ergo- no difference). The only solution? SUE THEM!!!!!
Campbell's company explained that that the original recipe had 710mg of sodium in it and the company decided to discontinue their advertising of '25% less sodium' on the cans as of last spring. Only problem is some of the older cans still remained on the shelves, creating what appeared to be false advertising. (Side note: Back in 1999, the tomato soup recipe had closer to 1000mg of salt. You might as well suck back some ocean water).
The lawyer of the four women says this excuse isn't a good enough and the company must pay for their misleading information.
Here's what is causing the confusion. The older Campbell's Tomato Soup cans contain the following amount of salt:
-Tomato Soup (Regular Recipe): 640mg
-Tomato Soup (Sodium Reduced): 480mg
And here are a new soups:
-Tomato Soup (Regular Recipe): 480mg
-Tomato Soup (Sodium Reduced): 360mg
So in a smaller grocery store, where product turns over very slow, the older cans might end up sitting next to the newer cans: making it appear that there is no difference between the sodium reduced and regular tomato soup (480mg).
To top it all off, in the fall of 2010, the Heart and Stroke Health Check system lowered the amount of salt allowed in soups to qualify to use their symbol. So while the old soups USED to qualify, they no longer do, and the older cans carry the symbol anyways because it is an old product that is now out of distribution.
Confused yet? I am.
I'm not sure who to pity: the four women who are obviously confused by the labeling, so much they feel the need to sue someone (because suing people always solves problems), or the company who was too lazy to clear out their older cans to avoid confusing consumers.
Personally, I think we need to abolish label claims. "low sodium', 'high in protein', 'a good source of carpet fibre' all need to be abolished (obviously the last one is not a real thing....I doubt carpet fibre has much nutritional value). Health claims provide very little information, which doesn't tell you much and is often misleading.
Bottom line: READ THE NUTRITION FACTS PANEL AND INGREDIENTS LIST! Health Claims on packaging can only tell you so much and as this soup story shows, sometimes it doesn't tell you anything.