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Mom’s $5-Million Lawsuit Targets ‘Toxic’ Frozen Pizzas

A Southern California woman says DiGiorno, Stouffer's and CPK are "poisoning" consumers with trans fat.

Katie Simpson bought frozen pizzas about five times in the past year, and filed a $5-million lawsuit after learning they contained trans fat—an ingredient linked to heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

In a class-action lawsuit against Nestle—the maker of DiGiorno, Stouffer’s and California Pizza Kitchen frozen pizzas—she claims the company is “placing profits over public health” by failing to remove the ingredient.

The case was filed in U.S. District Court in San Diego on behalf of Simpson, a mother of two young children.

The lawsuit says the frozen pizzas in question shouldn’t contain a toxic food additive banned all over the world, said her attorney Greg Weston.

California has banned trans fat in foods served in local restaurants,
 but no bans exist for packaged foods.

Weston said the suit seeks all monies Nestle has ever made from frozen
 pizzas.

In a statement, Nestle vowed to vigorously defend itself against “baseless allegations,’’ noting its pizzas are in strict compliance
 with FDA and USDA regulations.

According to California Pizza Kitchen, the case applies only to its frozen pizzas, not to restaurants bearing that name.

No hearing date has been set in the case.

“Although there are safe, low-cost and commercially acceptable alternatives to trans fat, including those used in competing brands and even in a few Nestle and CPK products, defendants unfairly elect not to use those substitutes in the Nestle Trans Fat Pizzas in order to increase profit at the expense of consumer health,” says the 23-page suit.

The suit targets partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, or PHVO, which it says is the main source of trans fat in the American diet and “used in dangerous quantities in the Nestle Trans Fat Pizzas.”

PHVO, invented in 1901 and patented in 1902 by a German chemist, was initially a “wonder product” attractive to the packaged food industry “because it combines the low cost of unsaturated … fat with the flexibility and long shelf life of saturated fat,” the suit says.

“Given its toxic properties, few food companies continue to use PHVO,” the suit says. “Defendants, however, have decided not to follow their more responsible peers and cease using PHVO, instead placing profits over public health and deliberately poisoning their consumers.”

The suit cites research that PHVO causes cardiovascular heart disease, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and accelerates cognitive decline in diabetics.

In 2008, California became the first state to ban all restaurant food with artificial trans fat, a law affecting about 88,000 eating establishments, the suit said.

“Trans fats now may not be served in California’s schools or restaurants in an amount greater than half a gram per serving,” the suit says.

—City News Service contributed to this report.

met00 February 04, 2013 at 09:04 PM
Hi Tiny, "My 2 cents. Met00, you say "The Second Amendment had something to do with the British? June 8, 1789 ... I do believe the British were long gone by that date". That is a revealing and naive." In 1783, the Treaty of Paris ended the war and recognized the sovereignty of the United States over the territory bounded roughly by what is now Canada to the north, Florida to the south, and the Mississippi River to the west.(1)(2) (1)Lawrence S. Kaplan, "The Treaty of Paris, 1783: A Historiographical Challenge," International History Review, Sept 1983, Vol. 5 Issue 3, pp 431–442 (2)Dull, A Diplomatic History of the American Revolution ch 18 [wow, footnoted references. Must be my naivete. Maybe six years isn't "long" enough for you? Now, can you ask JustUs for a footnoted reference for the fact he shared that "all" colonists owned firearms.]
JustUs February 04, 2013 at 09:14 PM
I explained in the simpliest terms that I know how he's wrong, Tiny. Now I pass the torch off to you. You can trade links with him until you're blue in the face. It won't help. Some people won't listen to reason. I'm done. But I wish you luck.
tiny February 04, 2013 at 09:43 PM
Met00, your a good technician and researcher, but weaker in an understanding of historical processes. Sure, we won the war then, but the empire wasn't defeated. And it continued in an irregular and covert way on many levels. Where do you think this globalization of today originated from? And who's economic sytem are we part of and wars we are fighting?
JustUs February 04, 2013 at 10:27 PM
tiny, here are a few quotes from a historian on the 2nd Amendment in relation to British rule and guns in relation to the common colonist: "This Article reviews the British gun control program that precipitated the American Revolution: the 1774 import ban on firearms and gunpowder; the 1774-75 confiscations of firearms and gunpowder; and the use of violence to effectuate the confiscations. It was these events that changed a situation of political tension into a shooting war." Clearly, the 2nd Amendment was an offshoot of British fascist action to disarm the colonists. "The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us,” he (Patrick Henry) promised." Note he said "The millions of people....". NOT "The Militia (or Army)". "The militia that assembled at the Lexington Green and the Concord Bridge consisted of able-bodied men aged 16 to 60. They supplied their own firearms, although a few poor men had to borrow a gun." So these men brought their OWN PERSONAL FIREARMS to the battle. Not firearms supplied by the independent government. Most everyone owned firearms back in that day except for the very poor. See where met00 is wrong? http://www.davekopel.org/2A/LawRev/american-revolution-against-british-gun-control.html I hope this clears up some misconceptions.
tiny February 05, 2013 at 03:25 AM
Glass-Steagall baby, yo: www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcM8ilpHsfQ

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