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Meal Replacement Maker Halts Production After Several Consumers Become Mysteriously Sick

Named after the infamous 1973 movie in which meal replacements are made status quo, beverage and snack bar maker Soylent has announced that it will temporarily stop manufacturing its formula 1.6 Soylent Powder after a landslide of consumer reports and major media outlets highlighted serious illnesses associated with the products. According to the company, which has received millions of dollars in venture capital investments, it is reviewing the formula to figure out which ingredients are causing people to become so sick.

Consumers who became ill after consuming Soylent snack bars reported experiencing symptoms similar to a food-borne illness., including stomach-related problems. The products underwent testing to see if pathogens, outside contamination, or other toxic substances were present, but all tests came back negative. This means that some ingredient or multiple ingredients in the product are allergens that should be listed on the packaging so that individuals can avoid them as needed for their health and wellness.

Although the company has temporarily stopped producing Powder 1.6, it has come out saying that fewer than 0.1 percent of people who consumed the powder suffered issues and that it has not received any complaints or reports regarding illnesses related to its other powder versions. So far, Soylent intends to return the snack bars and beverage mixes containing the suspect powder to store shelves during the first quarter of next year.

The ingredient lists for both the snack bars and the drinks containing Powder 1.6 are extremely long and complex. Some ingredients are immediately recognizable, like canola oil and soy protein isolate. A variety of vitamins and salts are also present in the product.

Food manufacturers owe a duty to consumers to use reasonable care when designing, manufacturing, and marketing their products. When it comes to food and other consumables, this means that the company must ensure the product is free from contaminants and toxins and that it bears appropriate labels pursuant to USDA and FDA guidelines. A company that fails to use appropriate care regarding its products can be held liable for any illnesses or damages that result from consumption of the product.

In addition to asserting this negligence-based theory, consumers can file a strict product liability claim against a food maker. Unlike a negligence claim, a plaintiff in a strict product liability claim need only show that the product is unreasonably dangerous. Each state has adopted a specific set of requirements that a plaintiff must satisfy to meet this standard. In some states, for example, to show an unreasonable danger, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the product is more dangerous than a reasonable consumer would expect it to be. In other states, the plaintiff must show that the risks associated with the product outweighed any of its alleged benefits.

The experienced lawyers at Moll Law Group have counseled and represented food contamination victims throughout the United States, including in Florida, New York, and California. We understand how devastating a food-borne illness can be for an individual, particularly if it leads to hospitalization or devastating permanent medical conditions. To schedule your free consultation, call us now at 312-462-1700 or contact us online.

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