Legal clash between sunflower seed firms in Dakotas gets salty

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WAHPETON, N.D. — Giant Snacks, a sunflower seed company based in Wahpeton, is suing a South Dakota-based competitor for what Giant says are false advertising claims regarding the salt content of sunflower seed products.

Wild Dutchman, headquartered in Mound City, S.D., says on its packaging that its sunflower seeds have "Half the salt, all the flavor." In a complaint filed in U.S. District Court, Giant alleges Wild Dutchman's claim that its sunflower seeds have half the salt of all or most other sunflower seeds is false.

Based on testing by two independent labs, Giant says in its suit that its sunflower seeds actually have less sodium than seeds marketed by Wild Dutchman.

Giant maintains that the false claims have caused economic injury to Giant's reputation and sales.

The suit asks that Wild Dutchman be ordered to stop making false claims and that any products containing the false claims be recalled.

Giant is also seeking Wild Dutchman profits associated with the low-sodium claims, along with monetary damages and enhanced damages "because of defendant's willful conduct."

A message seeking comment from Wild Dutchman had not been returned at the time this story went to print.