Chipotle sued for allegedly misrepresenting GMO-free claims

A law firm filed a class-action lawsuit on Monday, Aug. 31, against restaurant chain Chipotle, claiming that its marketing is misleading because it continues to sell food made with GMOs despite announcing in April it would phase out such ingredients, FOX News reported.

On Friday, Aug. 28, the plaintiff in the case, Colleen Gallagher from California, filed suit in federal court in San Francisco against the Mexican-style restaurant chain. She alleges that Chipotle violated the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act because its food labeling is false and deceived diners into paying more for their food, Reuters reported.

“As Chipotle told consumers it was ‘G-M-Over it,’ the opposite was true,” Gallagher said. “In fact, Chipotle’s menu has never been, at any time, free of GMOs.”

The complaint further alleges that Chipotle’s ingredients are derived from sources with GMO. For instance, the complaint states that the restaurant’s meat products come from animals that feed on GMOs, that its cheese and sour cream are sourced from dairy farms that provide animals with GMO feeds, and that its soft drinks contain GMO corn syrup.

In an email to, Chipotle Chris Arnold said that the restaurant never claimed all its food was GMO-free and that it plans to contest the suit.

“This lawsuit is meritless, and the complaint against Chipotle is filled with inaccuracies. We have always been honest and transparent with our customers, and the messaging surrounding our use of non-GMO ingredients is no exception,” he told the publication.

“We have always been clear that our soft drinks contained GMO ingredients, and that the animals from which our meat comes consume GMO feed. But, that does not mean that our meat is GMO, any more than people would be genetically modified if they eat GMO foods.”

On the FAQ section of its website, Chipotle includes disclaimers about the GMO content in its food due to its little control of the source of the entire supply chain, Reuters and FOX News reported.

That section of the website reads that “most animal feed in the US is genetically modified, which means that the meat and dairy served at Chipotle are likely to come from animals given at least some GMO feed.” Additionally, the website states that “many of the beverages sold in our restaurants contain genetically modified ingredients.”

Reuters reported that the lawsuit is seeking unspecified damages.

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