50 Cent's Vitamin Water Sued For Deceiving Consumers

Coca Cola's Vitamin Water line which is endorsed by 50 Cent has reportedly been sued for deceiving consumers by claiming to be a healthy alternative to sodas. According to The Associated Press, The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) filed the lawsuit against Coca Cola this week claiming that the beverage company misleads consumers into thinking that the drink boosts health and reduces risk of illness but does the opposite.

CSPI claims Coke labelled Vitamin Water with words such as "energy, "revive" and "endurance" to deceive its consumers.

"The 33 grams of sugar in each bottle of Vitamin Water do more to promote obesity, diabetes and other health problems than the vitamins in the drinks do to perform the advertised benefits listed on the bottles," the CSPI said in a statement.

"Vitamin Water is Coke's attempt to dress up soda in a physician's white coat. Underneath, it's still sugar water, although sugar water that costs about 10 bucks a gallon," CSPI's Steve Gardner told The Associated Press.

A 20 ounce of Coke sells for about $1.40 while a 20 ounce of Vitamin Water sells for $1.50

The lawsuit was brought about by James Koh of San Francisco who claims he used Vitamin Water during his occasional workouts.  CSPI are serving as his co-counsel in the case against Coca Cola.

"I was attracted to [Vitamin Water] by the prospect of getting extra vitamins, but I had no idea that I was actually getting almost a Coke's worth of sugar and calories," Koh said in a statement. "There’s no way I would have spent money on that, had I known"

Coca-Cola bought the Vitamin Water line from Glacéau (Energy Brands) in 2007 for 4.1 billion. Prior to its acquisition by Coke, 50 Cent had a share in Glacéau and reportedly profited lucratively after its purchase by the soda giant.

The rapper has endorsed the drink in his videos and in television and print advertisements.

A marketing director for Coke dismissed the lawsuit when contacted Friday (January 16).

"It's crazy to suggest Coke is being misleading," said Coca-Cola marketing director Lucie Austin. "This case has nothing to do with public interest and everything to do with a typical publicity stunt".

This marks the third blow that 50 Cent has suffered via his business dealings in the past few months. The rapper's MTV reality show was abruptly cancelled in November due to poor ratings and a General Motorstruck he had endorsed for release this year was called off.

In related news, 50 Cent will be releasing his fourth solo album titled Before I Self Destruct next month. The set will feature appearances from Dr. Dre, Eminem, Nate Dogg and G-Unit rappers Lloyd Banks and Tony Yayo.