The fast-casual restaurant chain [Chipotle] that promises “food with integrity” was just informed its marketing campaign is without integrity. U.S. District Judge Haywood Gilliam Jr., ruled that Chipotle Mexican Grill’s non-GMO claims are misleading, opening the door for customers in Maryland, California and New York to proceed to trial in a class action lawsuit.
The lawsuit, filed in 2016, alleges that Chipotle’s “only non-GMO ingredients” claims on signs in its restaurants were “false, misleading, and deceptive.” That’s because the meat and dairy products sold by Chipotle almost assuredly came from animals given at least some GMO feed.
Chipotle argued that a strict interpretation of “non-GMO” extending back to animal feed was not shared by “reasonable” consumers or federal regulators, and that its website clearly noted “the meat and dairy served at Chipotle are likely to come from animals given at least some GMO feed.”
However, Judge Gilliam, in calling the claims to be misleading, specifically noted that plaintiffs supported their allegations with “definitions used by the Non-GMO Project,” which states that products containing milk and meat from animals fed genetically engineered feed do not qualify for its Non-GMO project verified seal.
Regarding Chipotle’s website disclaimer, Judge Gilliam said, “It would not be reasonable to expect a consumer to search for disclaimers on a website to clarify a purported misrepresentation on in-store signage.”
Read full, original article: Chipotle’s Non-GMO Campaign In Tatters