Meet the Lawyer Who's Fighting for Truth, Justice, and... Real Vanilla

Photo: AFP

If you look at the package of any of the food items you buy in your local supermarket, chances are you’ll see a product that looks tempting and has a list of the ingredients it contains. But what if the food inside doesn’t quite match up to the image you saw on the packaging? Spencer Sheehan is an attorney based in Great Neck, New York who sues manufacturers over what he calls “BS labels.” He appeared on 710 WOR’s Len Berman and Michael Riedel in the Morning program to explain why he does it.

“I don’t just like to sue these companies,” Sheehan told Berman and newsman Larry Mendte, who was sitting in for a vacationing Riedel. “I like to make sure what they’re promising consumers is what they’re delivering, [like] the labeling of vanilla products… A&W, the staple of kids’ birthday parties, for years they claimed to be made with aged vanilla, but we finally resulted in having those claims removed and we achieved a settlement for everybody who bought that product for a few million dollars.”

Sheehan pointed out the types of products that probably qualify as his biggest offenders. “I’d say certainly in the juice aisle, where you see big pictures of tropical fruits, and ultimately, what you’re getting is basically grape juice or apple juice… The problem in the bread aisle is that most of the breads, or many of them… they’re mostly just the refined flours, which we’re generally advised to avoid… and do other things, like add caramel and molasses coloring to make the breads look like they have more whole grains.”

Ultimately, Sheehan says we have to weigh our time against truth in advertising when buying things at the supermarket. “We see terms like ‘made with real fruit,’ ‘made with honey,’ and you know, as a parent, we see these as indicators of value… [however] they’re mostly sugar, and it’s an unfortunate set of events that has resulted in this, but we just have to be incredibly diligent.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content