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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.

JustUs February 01, 2013 at 07:53 PM
" I am sure next she will be filing suit against the soda companies." Don't give them any ideas. Next they will claim soda pop caused Sandy Hook. So besides banning guns, they will demand we ban soda pop.
JTTPW February 01, 2013 at 08:26 PM
While I agree with your sentiments, you know next to nothing about Sandy Hook. Pipe down.
JustUs February 01, 2013 at 08:38 PM
Sure I do. I know a crazy man stole his mom's guns, murdered her and murdered about 25 kids and then offed himself. It's time to wage a 'war on mental illness' not on guns. And it's time to ban violent video games and violent cartoons since they influence people to act out. And it's time to reform the 'war on drugs' since drug gun violence resulting from protection of drug turf killed 85% of the 11,000 gun deaths in America last year. So I know lots, JTTPW. So take a hike.
JTTPW February 01, 2013 at 08:49 PM
Again, I agree with your opinion, but not with you. A small mind with a large megaphone is a dangerous place, and don't even threaten me with the 2nd Amendment, as in the past. Perhaps you lived in Sandy Hook, or even in Fairfield County, please share your hiking experiences. Thank you.
Paul w February 01, 2013 at 10:12 PM
Maybe if Katie read the label before apparently engulfing her face into these pizzas (5 times), she would'nt be so concerned about it now...gee, I don't know...
met00 February 02, 2013 at 10:02 AM
Nah, if she read the label she would know that she's eating like 220% of the recommended daily NaCl dosage. Transfat may be very bad, but NaCl will kill your butt a heck of a lot faster. Anytime you see over 200 under NaCl it's just best to put the sucker down and keep moving. At over 300, don't give it to the family pet either. Then if she really wants to do the math, and not die doing it. There is the fact that all that starch breaks down into sugars. Sugars cause blood platelets to get "sticky". Then these start to stick to artery walls and you get arterial blockage. Add in some NaCl to help by raising the blood pressure and you're a walking time bomb... Here's a basic rule. If it's "prepared" and frozen you probably don't want to ingest it. Katie Simpson, for that advice, please send me $5Mil. I'll bill ya and you can make payments.
met00 February 02, 2013 at 10:03 AM
anyone can sue anyone for anything. Just remember, anyone can sue, but winning is an entirely different kettle of fish.
met00 February 02, 2013 at 10:12 AM
If you start with "anyone who takes another human life while theirs is not threatened is crazy" then that gives every murderer a "I'm nuts!" out. So, while sane America knows that taking another human life while yours is not threatened is crazy, we don't allow the out and we punish those that do it. Now, if we say that we want to make it easy or hard for the crazy, if we give them access to a weapon that allows easy mass killing, then aren't we a bit insane? Wouldn't it be far more sane to ensure that crazy people don't have access to these things? I recently bought a house. Before my bank would close on the note I had to have insurance. I also have a car. I have to have insurance on that. I have to register it. I have to have a license to operate it. We license, register and insure things all the time. But a weapon that can mass kill? Nope, just waltz into any wal-mart and buy one.
Johnny Utah February 03, 2013 at 04:20 PM
Then don't eat it! People make their own choices, why does this broad need to get in their business?
JustUs February 04, 2013 at 01:03 AM
"I recently bought a house. Before my bank would close on the note I had to have insurance. I also have a car. I have to have insurance on that. I have to register it. I have to have a license to operate it" "Wouldn't it be far more sane to ensure that crazy people don't have access to these things?" To ensure that crazy people don't have access to guns we would have to ban all guns. Naturally, that would be impossible in America since owning a gun is a right endowed by our creator, so better not even to go there. Much more practical to reduce the number of crazy people in society before they figure out a way to access a gun and commit a tragic crime with it. "Before my bank would close on the note I had to have insurance. I also have a car. I have to have insurance on that. I have to register it. I have to have a license to operate it." There is no constitutional right to own a house or to own a car or even to have a driver's license. Those are privileges. Not endowed rights. Apparently you have a difficult time making that distinction. As law-abiding citizens we have an endowed right to own a gun. See 2nd Amendment in the Bill of Rights for more information. Pay particular attention to the phrase: 'SHALL not be infriged upon'
met00 February 04, 2013 at 01:56 AM
Yeah, that Militia thing doesn't matter. Forget that the actual debates were about how not to have a standing army, how to ensure that there was an army on call with well regulated state militia's. [read: http://constitution.org/mil/militia_debate_1789.htm ] New York Proposed: " That the People have a right to keep and bear Arms; that a well regulated Militia, including the body of the People capable of bearing Arms, is the proper, natural and safe defence of a free State; that the Militia should not be subject to Martial Law, except in time of War Rebellion or Insurrection. That standing Armies in time of Peace are dangerous to Liberty, and ought not to be kept up, except in Cases of necessity; and that at all times, the Military should be under strict Subordination to the Civil Power. That in time of Peace no Soldier ought to be quartered in any House without the consent of the Owner, and in time of War only by the civil Magistrate in such manner as the Laws may direct...that the Militia of any State shall not be compelled to serve without the limits of the State for a longer term than six weeks, without the Consent of the Legislature thereof." Read the debate. Don't believe Second Amendment lies.
JustUs February 04, 2013 at 05:01 AM
Obviously you aren't a student of history. Back in the colonial days and the days of the American Revolution and thereafter, the common citizens possessed the same firearms as the soldiers in the war who, of course, were the citizens themselves. All households back then owned big rifles and handguns to protect themselves and to protect their new founded homeland against tyranny. After all, that was the primary purpose of the 2nd Amendment. To protect the common citizens from the tyranny of big government. This was addressed in all the important papers of that time and our Founding Fathers, to include Jefferson, Adams, Washington, Franklin, etc... were quoted over and over again about the importance of physical protections against the overriding power of big government. This is so basic and common in the context of American history that I feel almost embarrassed explaining it to other Americans.
met00 February 04, 2013 at 05:21 AM
JustUs, we have been though this before. I won't do another round with you. You can look at the link and see what the debate was about. Or you can just make up facts. I really just posted the link so that anyone who wanted to would have the ability to go read what happened in the debate for themselves and make up their own mind.
Gerry TheJeweler February 04, 2013 at 05:30 AM
@ JustUs Speaking of banning soda pop... http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/13/health/new-york-soda-ban/index.html The crazies are already 5 steps ahead lol.
JustUs February 04, 2013 at 05:35 AM
met00, so you are claiming that common ordinary citizens were banned from possessing weapons during the American Revolutionary War and that only those who were attached to a military unit were allowed to have one? Of course, that's ridiculous on it's face if you know anything at all about early American history. The 2nd Amendment was not meant to arm armies. It was meant to arm ordinary common citizens and the purpose was to protect the citizens from tyrannical governments, like the rulers from Great Britian at that time. This is so basic I'd have to go back to high school to my roots of education where I learned it. College only reinforced it.
met00 February 04, 2013 at 08:03 AM
"so you are claiming that common ordinary citizens were banned from possessing weapons during the American Revolutionary War and that only those who were attached to a military unit were allowed to have one?" Now where have I said that? Nowhere. Glad we got that cleared up. I wouldn't want to accuse you of putting words into my mouth. "The 2nd Amendment was not meant to arm armies. It was meant to arm ordinary common citizens and the purpose was to protect the citizens from tyrannical governments, like the rulers from Great Britian at that time." History? The Second Amendment had something to do with the British? June 8, 1789... I do believe that the British were long gone by that date. That date was the date that the Madison Resolution was submitted in the House... 17 August 1789... "The house went into a committee of the whole, on the subject of amendments. The 3d clause of the 4th proposition in the report was taken into consideration, being as follows; "A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, being the best security of a free state; the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, but no person, religiously scrupulous, shall be compelled to bear arms." Ah yes, History. Darn good of them to keep records. You really should read the links I post rather than creating and responding to comments I didn't say.
JustUs February 04, 2013 at 08:23 AM
Sorry. You're just not making a lot of sense, met00. You see, if the 2nd Amendment were only meant for those attached to a 'militia' or an ''army" managed by the government - why were firearms so plentiful in the general population - to those common citizens not in a 'militia' or 'army' or 'police force'? In fact, the general population was armed to the hilt with personal firearms when the constitution was drafted and afterwards. So you need to answer that question because it goes to the heart of our debate. If you can't successfully answer it with a clear and logical explanation then the premise of your argument fails. Much of our 2nd Amendment was predicated upon the colonist's experience with the ruling British empire and our efforts to gain independence. To deny that is foolish. So unless you have a logical and rational answer to my opening question in paragraph #2 don't bother replying. Enjoy your sleep.
met00 February 04, 2013 at 08:49 AM
"In order to "preserve a good army," one had to be created in the first place. It was a long and difficult road from the Continental Congress's edict designating the militia around Boston as a Continental Army and creating such an army in fact. Although many colonials had had some military experience in the French and Indian War, most had served in militia units, a far cry from service in a regular European-style army. The latter, Washington believed, was what the Continental Army needed to become if the colonies were to stand up to the British army. As Washington put the matter shortly after he arrived in Boston to take command of the "army": "The course of human affairs forbids an expectation that troops formed under such circumstances [militia] should at once possess the order, regularity, and discipline of veterans." Washington rather optimistically added, "Whatever deficiencies there may be, will, I doubt not, soon be made up by the activity and zeal of the officers, and the docility and obedience of the men. These qualities, united with their native bravery and spirit, will afford a happy presage of success. . . ." How this opinion would soon change!" http://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/presentationsandactivities/presentations/timeline/amrev/contarmy/ Get educated. Read more. The Revolutionary war was made up with militia's. The problem was they weren't "well regulated" Which Washington recognized and thought he could overcome.
JustUs February 04, 2013 at 05:24 PM
Sorry, met00. Your response did not pass muster. We know very well that not all ciitzens in the colonies were in the militia yet all owned guns. In fact, non-militia members possessed the the same type and quality of firearms as the militia. The 2nd Amendment was created for all citizens, not just for soldiers. The very thought of that concept makes me chuckle. What nation would need an amendment to their constitution to arm their soldiers anyway? heh. So funny. And the 2nd Amendment was created as a direct result of the conflict that the colonist experienced with the overbearing British empire. It was all about independence from a tryannical government monster. Any other claim is simply irrelevant and does not apply. I could slap a bunch of quotes from Franklin, Washington, Adams, Jefferson on the comment board too....but what's the use? You'd probably say that the media made them up or that they were elicted through coercion. heh. I suggest that you contact an unbiased American history scholar and get the facts from him or her. You will dismiss anything anyone here tells you because you know that you are right and everyone else is wrong.
met00 February 04, 2013 at 06:19 PM
"We know very well that not all ciitzens in the colonies were in the militia yet all owned guns." The big red flag here is the word "all". Whenever I see someone use the word "all" I find that the debate is not possible. Every citizen owned a gun? Really? I find that claim highly dubious at best. In fact I am sure I can find whole sections of colonies that did not. "The 2nd Amendment was created for all citizens, not just for soldiers." Clearly you didn't bother reading the references provided. "And the 2nd Amendment was created as a direct result of the conflict that the colonist experienced with the overbearing British empire." Again, your response show that you didn't read the debate that Congress had. You can claim that the debate was irrelivant, but since it directly reflects what their intent was, the claim you are making is clearly wishful thinking at it's best. "I suggest that you contact an unbiased American history scholar and get the facts from him or her. You will dismiss anything anyone here tells you because you know that you are right and everyone else is wrong." I suggest you bother reading the Congressional debate. Any non-illiterate person doing so will see that the debate dealt with the historic abuse of standing armies and how to avoid such abuse in the creation of the new country. The answer was militia's at the State level that the feds couldn't disarm.
JustUs February 04, 2013 at 06:39 PM
Your denial is deep and ingrained, met00. I suggest that you enroll in a local community college American history class. I assume that you have your HS diploma so you shouldn't have any problem getting enrolled. Take the 101 class that generally provides the history of the first American up to about 1877. There you will get the facts. If you want a decent grade I suggest that you keep your arguments with the professor about the origin, reason and meaning of the 2nd Amendment to a minimum. I recommend taking the 2nd half (102) that will instruct you on the twists and turns America took from 1877 to present. Quite interesting. Ok. I am done with this discussion with you. I appreciate your time.
JustUs February 04, 2013 at 06:42 PM
Yes, they can. But frivilous lawsuits are dangerous. There's always a price to be paid when emotion supercedes reason.
met00 February 04, 2013 at 07:34 PM
As I said before... JustUs, we have been though this before. I won't do another round with you. You can look at the link and see what the debate was about. Or you can just make up facts. I really just posted the link so that anyone who wanted to would have the ability to go read what happened in the debate for themselves and make up their own mind. Thanks for the personal insults before you leave the party. Not that anyone is reading this old thread, but in case anyone does. Please read the link that was provided before that JustUs refuses to read http://constitution.org/mil/militia_debate_1789.htm After you have read it, please feel free to add your thoughts if you like.
JustUs February 04, 2013 at 07:40 PM
No insult. met00. I only recommended that you take an American history class (101) and pose your concerns to a scholar in that particular line of study. You won't believe me, which is fine. I just thought if a scholar explained the facts to you that it might alter your belief system. I have already been there, done that. Naturally, not all scholars agree with one another. So you might ask 3 or 4 and get a consensus. Just some friendly advice. Thanks for the discussion.
tiny February 04, 2013 at 08:21 PM
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.
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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