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7-Up maker agrees to stop adding vitamin E, touting health benefits

7-Up maker Dr Pepper Snapple Group agreed to stop adding vitamin E to its drinks and claiming antioxidant health benefits. Above, a file photo of a 7-Up bottling plant.
(Jim Mahoney / Dallas Morning News)

Don’t expect to get a vitamin boost from 7-Up drinks any more.

The maker of the beverage, Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, agreed to stop adding vitamin E to some of its drinks and halt claims that the product has antioxidants as part of a settlement with a health advocacy group.

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The company had been infusing small amounts of vitamin E into some varieties of 7-Up -- regular and diet Cherry Antioxidant, Mixed Berry Antioxidant and Pomegranate Antioxidant -- when the firm was sued in November in U.S. District Court in California on behalf of a Sherman Oaks man.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest also took issue with the images of berries and pomegranates on the soda’s labels, saying it gave the impression that the antioxidants came from fruit instead of the added vitamin E.

“Soda is not a health food, and should not be marketed as a healthy source of antioxidants or other nutrients,” Steve Gardner, litigation director at CSPI, said in a statement.

“It’s to the credit of Dr Pepper Snapple Group that it carefully considered these concerns, and worked collaboratively to resolve the dispute without further litigation. The end result is a big plus for consumers.”

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Texas-based Dr Pepper Snapple Group did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

The drink company also agreed to pay $5,000 to the Center for Science in the Public Interest and $237,500 in attorney’s fees.

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adolfo.flores@latimes.com

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