Chipotle Sued In Class Action For Claiming Its Menu Is GMO Free

Aug 31, 2015, 12:13 ET from Kaplan Fox & Kilsheimer LLP

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 31, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Kaplan Fox & Kilsheimer LLP ( filed a federal class action law suit against Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. ("Chipotle" or the "Company"), on behalf of all California consumers who purchased food products from Chipotle between April 27, 2015 and the present. The lawsuit alleges that Chipotle's marketing and advertising campaign that claims its menu does not contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is actually deceptive and misleading to consumers because many of Chipotle's menu items actually do contain GMOs. 

Specifically, the complaint alleges that Chipotle has marketed its "Food With Integrity" brand to healthy-lifestyle and environmentally conscious consumers who are willing to pay premium prices for food that aligns with the consumers' ethical eating choices. The lawsuit alleges that beginning on April 27, 2015, Chipotle launched a multi-media publicity campaign that advertised and represented to consumers that Chipotle was "G-M-Over it" and that it only uses "non-GMO ingredients." The complaint alleges that Chipotle's claims are false and misleading to customers because Chipotle's menu was never free of GMOs at any time. Among other things, the complaint alleges that Chipotle serves meat products that come from animals which feed on GMOs, including soy and corn, that its sour cream and cheese ingredients come from dairy farms that feed animals with GMOs, and that Chipotle sells soft drinks that are made with corn-syrup—a GMO.

"Consumers today are very concerned about what they eat, and restaurants know that consumers place a premium on food that is considered to be healthy or natural," stated Laurence D. King, an attorney for the proposed class.  "As a result, Chipotle's advertising in its stores should have accurately informed customers about the source and quality of its ingredients and should not mislead consumers that they are serving food without GMOs when in fact they are." 

The complaint alleges violations of the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act, the California False Advertising Law, and the California Unfair Competition Law. The case, entitled Gallagher v. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., No. 15-cv-03952, is currently pending in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. 

For more information about the case, to review a copy of the Complaint filed in this action, or for more information about Kaplan Fox, you may contact the attorneys that filed this lawsuit:

Laurence D. King
Linda M. Fong
Matthew B. George
Mario M. Choi
350 Sansome Street, Suite 400
San Francisco, California 94104
Telephone: (415) 772-4700
Fax:  415-772-4707

Frederic S. Fox
Donald R. Hall
850 Third Avenue, 14th Floor
New York, New York 10022
(800) 290-1952
(212) 687-1980
Fax: (212) 687-7714

SOURCE Kaplan Fox & Kilsheimer LLP