Unwrapped Truth: Reynolds Accused of 'Made in USA' Mislabeling in Class Action Lawsuit

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Reynolds Faces A Proposed Class Action Lawsuit Alleging Its American-Made Aluminum Foil Labeling Claims Are False

American shoppers are willing to pay a premium for products made in the United States, and businesses are well aware of that fact. So much so, a law has been enacted protecting the “Made in USA” claim and allowing consumers to go after companies that violate it. 

Consumer products company Reynolds is facing a new lawsuit over allegations of just that: misleading customers by saying its Reynolds Wrap aluminum foil is made in the USA, when in reality most of the raw materials come from overseas.

Misplaced trust

Reynolds includes on its packaging "Foil Made in USA,” which the lawsuit alleges is false and misleading to reasonable consumers because most of the bauxite the company uses in its foil comes from outside the country, Reuters reported. It adds that even the process of transforming the bauxite into aluminum happens outside the United States.

Plaintiff Anaya Washington filed the proposed class action in New York, arguing that she based her purchasing of Reynolds Wrap at her local Target on the fact it was a trusted brand and that she likes to “buy American.” If she had known the product wasn’t actually made here, she wouldn’t have forked out for it, she argues. 

What is bauxite?

Bauxite, the main component in the foil, is a rock that is the principal ore of aluminum. According to the Aluminum Association, tens of millions of metric tons of bauxite are mined each year with the leaders in bauxite production being Australia, China, Brazil, India and Guinea. 

While the United States has small amounts of bauxite ore in Arkansas, Alabama, and Georgia, very little mining is done in the country today. 

Other brands facing Made in the USA mislabeling allegations

To protect American consumers, in 2021, the Federal Trade Commission adopted a "Made in USA Labeling Rule.” The rule is designed to crack down on marketers who make false, unqualified claims that their products are Made in the USA, the FTC says, and since its adoption the agency really has cracked down. 

This year, tractor manufacturing company Kubota was ordered to pay a $2 million civil penalty for allegedly falsely labeling replacement parts for its tractors and other agricultural equipment as “Made in USA.”  

A group of Massachusetts- and New Hampshire-based clothing accessories companies, along with their owner, Thomas Bates, were also targeted by the agency for falsely claiming products were made in America.

Meanwhile, other companies along with Reynolds are facing consumer lawsuits over claims relating to the law, including Bigelow Teas that is accused by consumers of falsely advertising its teas are produced in the United States.

Staying informed: Tracking the Reynolds Wrap case

If you purchased Reynolds Wrap products because you believed they were made in USA, follow the lawsuit on Injury Claims to see if you could get involved.

The plaintiff and proposed class are represented by George V. Grenade and Michael R. Reese of Reese LLP; Elizabeth Ryan of Bailey and Glasser, LLP; and Spencer Sheehan of Sheehan & Associates, P.C.

The Reynolds Wrap Made in the USA class action lawsuit is Washington v Reynolds Consumer Products LLC, Case No. 24-02327 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.



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