Back in April, Chipotle proudly declared that it was the only major fast food chain in the country to contain an entirely GMO-free menu.
Now, just four months later, a recently filed class-action lawsuit says
that proclamation isn’t exactly truthful, accusing the fast casual
restaurant of false advertising and deceiving diners into paying more
for their food.
The class-action lawsuit [PDF],
filed by a California woman in federal court in San Francisco, alleges
that Chipotle violated the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act because
its food labeling is false and misleading, and the company deceived
diners into paying more for their food on the basis that it was GMO-free
and “aligned with consumers’ ethical eating choices.”
According to the lawsuit — which aims to cover everyone who bought Chipotle in California since the April 27 “no GMOs” announcement — Chipotle has been selling itself to health-conscious consumers since at least 2009.
“Chipotle has carefully tailored its public image by marketing to
healthy-lifestyle and environmentally conscious consumers that it knows
are willing to pay premium prices for its food,” the lawsuit states.
The plaintiffs contend that Chipotle’s recent public statements do not accurately reflect the company’s practices.
“As Chipotle told consumers it was ‘G-M-Over it,’ the opposite was
true. In fact, Chipotle’s menu has never been at any time free of GMOs,”
the lawsuit states.