A class action suit has been filed against beer maker Anheuser-Busch for allegedly watering down its brews under the Michelob, Budweiser and other labels. According to Fox News on Feb. 26, the suits have been filed in California, Pennsylvania and other states.
Consumers are asserting that Anheuser-Busch has been cheating them of the alcohol content stated on the labels of their products. The alcohol content of Budweiser and Michelob are stated at 5 percent while some of the “light” beers contain just over 4 percent.
The basis of the suits originates with information obtained from employees of the company’s 13 breweries. Lead lawyer Josh Boxer of San Rafael, Calif. says from Anheuser-Busch employees have stated it is company policy to water down the beers in an effort to cut costs. Some of the employees are said to be or have been high-ranking within the company.
Additional water is added just before the beer is bottled and allegedly cuts the stated alcohol content by 3 percent. Anheuser Busch says the claims are “groundless.” They contend they are incompliance with labeling laws.
The products included in the lawsuit are: Budweiser, Bud Ice, Bud Light Platinum, Michelob, Michelob Ultra, Hurricane High Gravity Lager, King Cobra, Busch Ice, Natural Ice and Bud Light Lime.
The lawsuit claims the company uses highly sophisticated equipment that measures alcohol content throughout the duration of the brewing process, holding levels within one-hundredth of a percent. Following a 2008 merger with InBev, headquartered in Belgium, the company began to dilute its products, according to the lawsuit. It contends that Anheuser –Busch “vigorously accelerated the deceptive practices described below, sacrificing the quality products once produced by Anheuser-Busch in order to reduce costs.”
Similar suits are being filed in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and other states this week. Each suit is seeking a minimum of $5million in damages.
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