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Author Topic: Kraft taken to court over guacamole
snopes
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Peanut butter is made from peanuts, tomato paste is made from tomatoes, and guacamole is made from avocados, right?

Wrong. The guacamole sold by Kraft Foods Inc., one of the bestselling avocado dips in the nation, includes modified food starch, hefty amounts of coconut and soybean oils, and a dose of food coloring. The dip contains precious little avocado, but many customers mistake it for wholly guacamole.

http://www.baltimoresun.com/business/bal-foodlabels1204,0,4730095.story

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Silkenreindeer
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Are people REALLY incapable of reading ingredients' lists? I fail to see how anyone can be accused of being deceptive about a product's ingredients when they publish a full list of all ingredients in order of amount on each package.

Basically, what I'm saying is that the consumer's laziness should not become the company's liability.

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chillas
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quote:
Originally posted by Silkenreindeer:

Basically, what I'm saying is that the consumer's laziness should not become the company's liability.

I don't know in this case. Guacamole is avocado, and labelling it as such is a bit deceptive, IMHO. It's a bit like selling peanut butter with no peanuts - which, according the article, is illegal.

Certain foods, like peanut butter, must contain a certain amount (90%, according to the article) of the primary ingredient to use the name. I can't think of why guacamole shouldn't be like that, too.

Now, if they called it "guacamole flavored", that of course, would be different.

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Jonny T
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what chillas said.

who honestly thinks to check the ingredients list of every product they buy to make sure it contains exactly what they're expecting? if I buy tomatoes, I expect tomatoes.

IMO it *is* false advertising for them to promote it as "guacamole" in the knowledge people will expect it to be avocado. if they're currently re-labelling it, as the article states, then fair enough.

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Lydia Oh Lydia
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Interesting. If I were in the store and saw pre-packaged "guacamole," I would assume that it was mainly avocado.

What chillas said about "guacamole flavored."

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Sara at home
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The argument that the ingredients are on the label doesn't fly in this case. If they call the product "guacamole", which is mashed avocados, one should not have to spend the time to double check to make sure there are avocados in it. It should by definition be mostly avocados. I can see checking the ingrediants to see how much avocado or what other ingredient are in the product, but double checking to make sure guacamole is indeed guacamole is ridiculous. When it says "guacamole" on the front of the label, logically that should indicate an avocado product and indicate that avocados are one of the ingredients -- the main one. Anything else is deceptive.

This reminds me of the "lemonades" which contain no lemon.

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tagurit
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"We think customers understand that it isn't made from avocado," said Claire Regan, Kraft Foods' vice president of corporate affairs. "All of the ingredients are listed on the label for consumers to reference."

Noooo. If I bought Kraft Guacamole, I would expect it to be guacamole. Fortunately, for me, I make guacamole. I have tried a couple prepared guacamoles in the past and was never satisfied with the flavor. Of course, now I know why.

tag fresh is best urit

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Hero_Mike
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Just to play devil's advocate - one version of guacamole I ate had green tomatoes and mayonnaise, as well as avocado, as their main ingredients. Whether or not it was "mostly" avocado is hard to tell, but I think that there will be enough of a grey area to get Kraft out of hot water here.

I've seen recipes for "vegetarian chili con carne", which is silly, because "con carne" means "with meat".

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Gibbie
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Actually they aren't marketing it as guacamole, they're marketing it as dip. Nutrional info for Kraft Dip. It's in their line of dips which includes French Onion, Green Onion, Ranch and Bacon Cheddar. So if I saw that package in the store, I don't think I would think it was actual guacamole and probably would scan the ingredients. I can buy guacamole in the store, but I wouldn't think this was it.

Gibbie

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Sara at home
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I don't know......I'd expect even a dip called Guacamole to have a reasonable amount of avocado in it. I'd expect the French and Green Onion ones to have a reasonable amount of onions, the Bacon Cheddar to have a reasonable amount of bacon and cheddar, and the Ranch to have.....well, something that is in regular ranch dressings (real dairy products). If they didn't have those things, I would expect it to be labeled "flavored".

But then my expectations for honesty from corporations is probably entirely too high.

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tagurit
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quote:
Originally posted by Gibbie:
Actually they aren't marketing it as guacamole, they're marketing it as dip. Nutrional info for Kraft Dip. It's in their line of dips which includes French Onion, Green Onion, Ranch and Bacon Cheddar. So if I saw that package in the store, I don't think I would think it was actual guacamole and probably would scan the ingredients. I can buy guacamole in the store, but I wouldn't think this was it.

Here's the problem with that, for me: Guacamole is a dip. It's a dip for tortilla chips and such, made of mashed avocados, tomatoes, and seasonings. When you say guacamole, everyone knows what it is or what it should be. If you're just talking about a guacamole flavored dip, then you best refer to it as "guacamole flavored dip."

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I saw Mommy kismet Santa Claus
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Ewww. I've eaten that "guacamole" before and noticed it tasted bad. But I never realized that was because it was almost wholly lacking in the main ingredient.

Sure, I can read the fine print, and I should. But A. that doesn't make it ok for Kraft to lie in the big print on the front of the package and then explain the truth in small print on back and B, if I read the label of every item I buy to make sure it is really what it says it is, I will have to go to work naked, because my grocery chore will totally consume my laundry and other chore times.

I should be able to take some small shortcuts, assuming orange juice is made from oranges and corn chips are made from corn and stuff like that.

That said, I don't know that this particular woman deserves to retire wealthy because she ate a 3 layer dip that had no avocado and Craftsman tools aren't made in the US.

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snopes
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quote:
Here's the problem with that, for me: Guacamole is a dip. It's a dip for tortilla chips and such, made of mashed avocados, tomatoes, and seasonings. When you say guacamole, everyone knows what it is or what it should be. If you're just talking about a guacamole flavored dip, then you best refer to it as "guacamole flavored dip."
Yes. If I buy a packet of powder or something that I'm supposed to mix with something else (e.g., water, sour cream) to make a guacamole dip, then I expect it's actually nothing more than "guacamole-flavored dip." But if I buy a ready-to-use "guacamole dip," then I expect it to include a significant amount of avocado.

- snopes

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Pogue Ma-humbug
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Why buy "dip" at all? Why not just buy an avocado and mash it up?

Pogue

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Lydia Oh Lydia
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quote:
Originally posted by Pogue Ma-humbug:
Why buy "dip" at all? Why not just buy an avocado and mash it up?

Pogue

It depends on where you live and access to good avocados. I grew up in California, which has great avocados essentially year round. In Pennsylvania, good, ripe, wonderful avocados are not so easy to find. Before living here, I never dreamed I'd buy the premade crap.

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queen of the bah-caramels
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quote:
Originally posted by Pogue Ma-humbug:
Why buy "dip" at all? Why not just buy an avocado and mash it up?

Pogue

Could you give me a recipe then?? That's my problem.

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magpie
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Once my husband went shopping for me and bought this so-called "guacamole dip" by mistake. I threw it away, it was so disgusting.

One of my biggest pet peeves in this country is the way they sell "chocolate" that doesn't even have any cocoa in it. Most of it's made with sugar, wax, and some sort of flavoring. It should be illegal to call something chocolate that's made with less than 25% cocoa.

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Avril
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If you have unripe avacados, you can always leave them out for a few days until they soften. And in my opinion the absolute best guacomole is just mashed avacado, salt, pepper, a splash of lemon juice, and diced tomatoes.

Avril

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AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
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quote:
Originally posted by queen of the bah-caramels:
quote:
Originally posted by Pogue Ma-humbug:
Why buy "dip" at all? Why not just buy an avocado and mash it up?

Pogue

Could you give me a recipe then?? That's my problem.
Take an avocado and mash it up. Add a squeeze of lime juice and some peppers to taste.

And getting decent avocados around here is well-nigh impossible.

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Lydia Oh Lydia
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quote:
Originally posted by queen of the bah-caramels:
Could you give me a recipe then?? That's my problem.

If you're intimidated about adding your own ingredients, you can buy the avocados and a guacamole spice flavor pack from McCormick (or some other spice company).

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Morgaine La Raq Star
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I personally like onion in mine. But no tomatoes & most Mexican restaurants that serve guacamole seem to add tomatoes. I need to try On the Borders 'Guacamole Live' where they prepare it at your table & you can have what you want put in it (tomatoes, onions, cilantro, etc.)

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tagurit
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quote:
Originally posted by snopes:
quote:
Here's the problem with that, for me: Guacamole is a dip. It's a dip for tortilla chips and such, made of mashed avocados, tomatoes, and seasonings. When you say guacamole, everyone knows what it is or what it should be. If you're just talking about a guacamole flavored dip, then you best refer to it as "guacamole flavored dip."
Yes. If I buy a packet of powder or something that I'm supposed to mix with something else (e.g., water, sour cream) to make a guacamole dip, then I expect it's actually nothing more than "guacamole-flavored dip." But if I buy a ready-to-use "guacamole dip," then I expect it to include a significant amount of avocado.
Exactly so.
quote:
Originally posted by queen of the bah-caramels:
Could you give me a recipe then?? That's my problem.

The hardest part about making guacamole is having avocados at just the right degree of ripeness. You may have to play around with this a few times to get it right. You want the avocados slightly firm, but soft, all at the same time. [Smile] In the great white north, you can almost never find ripe avocados. I buy avocados and put them in a paper bag in the bottom of my cupboard for a few days. Some people peel and seed the tomatoes. I just cut them up small and toss them in. No two people that I know make guacamole the same way. You need to experiment a little, taste, add some more of this or that, to get it to your liking. You can either peel avocados, or you can slice them in half long-wise, pop the seed out with a knife, then scoop the avocado out. Ok, ready? Let's do it!

Mash 4 avocados in a medium sized bowl using a fork or a potato masher. Add 2 small tomatoes, trimmed and diced. Add 2 cloves of freshly minced garlic (I whack it with the side of my french knife to remove the hull, which releases some of the nice aromatic oils, then chop very small). Sprinkle some lemon juice over all, add salt and pepper to taste. Remash and whip into a frenzy. Ok, then just mash to the desired consistency and serve with tortilla chips. You may have added a splash of worcestershire sauce sometime during the whole process if you have a huge bottle you need to use up, or just like the opportunity to say it, because it's fun. Worcestershire. Otherwise, you won't miss it.

ETA: You'll notice no onion in there. I may sometimes up the garlic, but I never use onion.

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tagurit
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Well, if I'd read Avril and AnglRdr's posts, I wouldn't have bothered with my guacamole instructions. Sorry, gals!

ETA: Gals? Is it ok to use that? Should I call them girls instead?

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Pogue Ma-humbug
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quote:
Originally posted by magpie:
One of my biggest pet peeves in this country is the way they sell "chocolate" that doesn't even have any cocoa in it. Most of it's made with sugar, wax, and some sort of flavoring. It should be illegal to call something chocolate that's made with less than 25% cocoa.

It's not the cocoa, but the chocolate liquor that makes the difference -- which is why white chocolate really isn't chocolate.

And there are standards.

Pogue

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Bach_girl
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quote:
Originally posted by Morgaine La Raq Star:
I personally like onion in mine. But no tomatoes & most Mexican restaurants that serve guacamole seem to add tomatoes. I need to try On the Borders 'Guacamole Live' where they prepare it at your table & you can have what you want put in it (tomatoes, onions, cilantro, etc.)

That always bugs me- the tomatos. They are really hard to see in the green goop. I try to fish them all out or avoid them- but I always end up with one in my mouth- yuck.

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erwins
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quote:
Originally posted by Silkenreindeer:
Are people REALLY incapable of reading ingredients' lists?

In addition to the points others have made, I just want to point out that companies can be intentionally deceptive with ingredients lists. They do what is called "splitting" where they will, for example, use two or three different kinds of oil, and list them separately, so that the thing you expect, like avocados, will appear higher in the ingredients list. So, you might see avocado listed first or second in a pre-made guacamole, but it might be followed by 4 different names for 1 kind of filler/etc.

I don't see any obvious examples of splitting on the Kraft label, but my point is that just saying read the ingredients is not the answer.

erwins

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Sara at home
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quote:
Originally posted by tagurit:
ETA: Gals? Is it ok to use that? Should I call them girls instead?

[aside]I found myself using "girls" the other day!!! That's a sure sign I'm getting OLD! I have become my aunt! [Eek!] [/aside]

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Avril
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quote:
Originally posted by erwins:
quote:
Originally posted by Silkenreindeer:
Are people REALLY incapable of reading ingredients' lists?

In addition to the points others have made, I just want to point out that companies can be intentionally deceptive with ingredients lists. They do what is called "splitting" where they will, for example, use two or three different kinds of oil, and list them separately, so that the thing you expect, like avocados, will appear higher in the ingredients list. So, you might see avocado listed first or second in a pre-made guacamole, but it might be followed by 4 different names for 1 kind of filler/etc.

I don't see any obvious examples of splitting on the Kraft label, but my point is that just saying read the ingredients is not the answer.

erwins

In addition, they will give familiar things other names so you won't be as likely to know what it really is. I've seen "evaporated cane juice" (known, in most people's vocabularies, as granulated sugar) and whatnot more times than I can count.

I know that companies should be allowed to keep formulas secret to a degree, but I don't like the way they can trick us by the way we never know exactly how much of anything there is.

Avril

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Zorro
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quote:
Originally posted by Avril:
[QUOTE]In addition, they will give familiar things other names so you won't be as likely to know what it really is. I've seen "evaporated cane juice" (known, in most people's vocabularies, as granulated sugar) and whatnot more times than I can count.

I know that companies should be allowed to keep formulas secret to a degree, but I don't like the way they can trick us by the way we never know exactly how much of anything there is.

Never mind all the people with food allergies for whom reading labels is a matter of life and death. (Yes, they will learn various terms for the particular thing they are allergic to, but really, shouldn't ingredients just be called "wheat" and "peanut oil", rather than being camoflagued?)

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snapdragonfly
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This is a pet peeve of mine.

Some people think MSG is very bad for you: others, particularly companies that make and sell it, would probably claim it was the elixer of youth and cured boils, warts, dyspepsia and impotence if they could get away with it.

Whatever the truth about MSG is, I know this: I, and ONLY I, have the right to decide if I want to consume it. And since consumers don't like msg anymore, they now have several dozen other names for it including FLAVORING, so that you can't tell if you are getting it or not.

Which is why I don't buy much pre-prepared foods, cause they put so much effort into deceiving customers.

I didn't realize you couldn't get avocados up north. How tragic. Nothing like a wonderful avocado. I slice them and sprinkle a little kosher salt and eat them that way, but if I want guac:

mash up the avocado (totally second the info about it being just ripe enough - about like a pear, not hard but not rotten) add lime or lemon juice, a little salt, and either salsa or taco sauce. I used to add a lot of other stuff but I pared it down to just those and my family likes it better this way.

There's a brand they sell in the produce section, that comes in a cryo pack, that's only avocados and seasonings. No preservatives - that cryo pack keeps it fresh and it's almost as good as my homemade. When avocados are expensive or not ripe, I get that instead. Can't remember the name of it, though.

I never buy Kraft dips of any flavor, they have a nasty chemical whang to them - I'd rather have just straight sour cream.

edited to add: why do they go through all those acrobatics to lie to us? why don't they just label their stuff, "this is the cheap crap made of garbage, it's gross, but it's real *cheap*!" and "here is the decent stuff made with real ingredients, it's more expensive but it tastes better" and then let that famous hand of the free market decide which product it wants? I would expect real and quality ingredients to cost more than Fayke Fudes(tm) and it ought to be within my rights to make the decision between budget and palate as I see fit, based on transparent labeling practises.

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"Wolves, dragons and vampires, man. Draw the nut-bars like big ol' nut-bar magnets." ~evilrabbit

(snurched because one of my nutbar family members is all about wolves and another one is all about dragons...)(with apologies to surfcitydogdad)

Posts: 2397 | From: Texarkana, TX | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Sara at home
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Avril:
In addition, they will give familiar things other names so you won't be as likely to know what it really is. I've seen "evaporated cane juice" (known, in most people's vocabularies, as granulated sugar) and whatnot more times than I can count.

Actually, those people would be wrong. Granulated sugar is more highly processed than evaporated cane juice.
quote:
Sugar products may be produced by either a single-step or a multiple-step crystallization process. Single-crystallization sugars, commonly referred to colelctively as evaporated cane juice, retain more of the character of the juice from which they are recovered than the multiple-crystallization sugars. Although distinct colors, aromas and flavors distinguish various sugar products, processing maintains the integrity of the sucrose molecule.
Source.

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Assume that all my posts will be edited at least once. Dyslexic -- can't spell, can't type, can't proofread.

Posts: 8317 | From: Reading, PA | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Jenn
Layaway in a Manger


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quote:
Originally posted by snapdragonfly:
I didn't realize you couldn't get avocados up north.

No one said we couldn't.

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"You're the opposite of troll. It's a compliment!"

Posts: 12086 | From: Alberta | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
lynnejanet
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
Originally posted by Jenn:
quote:
Originally posted by snapdragonfly:
I didn't realize you couldn't get avocados up north.

No one said we couldn't.
Indeed. Even though we live in the Great White North, we have no problem getting wonderful avocados. The weird thing is that organic avacados are often cheaper here than conventionally grown.

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lynne"insert appropriate punny phrase here"janet

Posts: 1460 | From: Ontario, Canada | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Towknie
We Three Blings


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Just from the very fact that I see "Kraft" on the label, I would assume it to be a big tub 'o chemicals rather than anything resembling the real product. I mean, how much "cheese" is there in Kraft macaroni and cheese? (Cheese Sauce Mix , Whey , Milkfat , Milk Protein Concentrate , Salt , Calcium Carbonate , Sodium Tripolyphosphate , Citric Acid Less than 2% of , Sodium Phosphate , Lactic Acid , Milk , Yellow 5 , Yellow 6 , Enzymes , Cheese Culture )

Second, the woman in the suit is suing for punitive damages. Punitive damages for what? Is she deathly allergic to whipped oil? By my understanding of the legal requirements to list ingredients, she as the consumer, bears the responsibility to read the ingredients.

Finally...

quote:
Lifsey has been a plaintiff in other lawsuits against large corporations. A few years ago, she joined a lawsuit against Sears, claiming that the retailer misrepresented that its Craftsman tools were U.S. made. That case is still in the courts. She also was part of a suit filed last year against vehicle reporting service Carfax Inc., alleging that it did not have access to police accident reports in California and other states even though it advertised that it could provide vehicle history records. Carfax denied the claims.
While I'm glad the justice system and tort law exist when someone truly has suffered loss or damage, this woman seems to just be attacking big companies for a quick buck to me.

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Towknie: Ryda-certified as wonderful, enlighted, and rational.

Posts: 1011 | From: Frisco, TX | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
snapdragonfly
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by Jenn:
quote:
Originally posted by snapdragonfly:
I didn't realize you couldn't get avocados up north.

No one said we couldn't.
Excuse me. Anglrdr said "And getting decent avocados around here is well-nigh impossible."

She's from Tennessee, which some folks here call up north and some don't, and she said it's well nigh impossible to get decent avocados, which could mean you can't get them or could mean you can only get crappy ones.

Sorry to be sloppy. It's been a long weekend.

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"Wolves, dragons and vampires, man. Draw the nut-bars like big ol' nut-bar magnets." ~evilrabbit

(snurched because one of my nutbar family members is all about wolves and another one is all about dragons...)(with apologies to surfcitydogdad)

Posts: 2397 | From: Texarkana, TX | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
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