Arizona Green Tea lacks a key energy-boosting ingredient touted on drinks, lawsuit says

Arizona Iced Tea

Arizona Green Tea ads boast that the drink contains “just the right amount” of ginseng to provide thirsty customers with an energy boost, but that appears to be zero, a federal lawsuit says.

Kalesha Niles and Jason Lahey filed a suit April 2 in the Eastern District of New York seeking class-action status for Arizona Iced Tea consumers across the United States..

Niles, of Gloversville, New York, and Lahey, of Lee’s Summit, Missouri, hired two food labs to test Arizona Green Tea with Ginseng and Honey, which found no detectable amounts of the herb’s chief chemical in the drinks, the lawsuit says.

“Thus, the testing confirmed that the Product contains either no ginseng at all, or, at best, an amount of ginseng that is so miniscule that it cannot be detected even by scientific tests and could not provide energy to a consumer,” the suit says.

But cans and jugs of the drink clearly say it contains ginseng for energy, and the company’s website boasts it contains “just the right amount of ginseng,” according to the lawsuit.

“Defendants know that if they were to use enough ginseng in the product to actually provide energy to consumers, their revenues and competitive advantage would suffer,” the lawsuit said.

The suit seeks “undetermined compensatory, statutory, and punitive damages,” plus interest and legal fees.

The company could defend itself by presenting other tests showing ginseng in the product, said consumer law professor Norman Silber at Hofstra Law School in Hempstead, Newsday reported.

Arizona Iced Tea did not respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit, according to the publication.

Based in Woodbury, New York, Arizona Iced Tea is part of Arizona Beverages USA and Hornell Brewing Co., which also are named in the suit.

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Don Sweeney has been a newspaper reporter and editor in California for more than 25 years. He has been a real-time reporter based at The Sacramento Bee since 2016.