Class Action Lawsuit Against General Mills Allowed to Proceed

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are plants or animals whose cells have been genetically altered with a gene from an unrelated species in order to take on certain characteristics, such as resistance to insects or increased nutrition. In the past 20 years, GMOs have become extremely popular with food manufacturers and are now found in many of the popular foods we eat.

More than 40 types of plants have been genetically modified worldwide, including corn, canola, soybean, and cotton. Critics of GMOs say that there are potential health effects that have not been studied or evaluated properly. To date, there are three agencies that regulate GMOs for safety: the FDA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Yet in spite of the controversy surrounding GMOs, the FDA does not require food manufacturers to label whether their products contain GMOs. They only require that the labels be truthful and not deceptive. Unfortunately, many food manufacturers have interpreted this to mean that they can label their products “All Natural”-a label that is now being tested in the U.S courts.

On March 26 th, Judge William Orrick refused to dismiss a class action lawsuit accusing General Mills of misleading consumers by marketing Nature Valley products as “all natural”. These products do, in fact, contain GMOs-something the FDA has yet to determine is ‘all-natural’.

The lawsuit (Rojas v General mills 3:12-cv-05099) argues that the advertising on the front of General Mills Nature Valley products misleads reasonable consumers. The front of the package displays the term “100% Natural” and that message is reinforced in several places around the box and individual wrappers. The judge denied General Mills’ motion to dismiss the lawsuit on the grounds that “these representation could easily be interpreted by consumers as a claim that all of the ingredients in the products are natural, which appears to be false because they allegedly contain GMOs and other synthetic ingredients.”

General Mills isn’t the first food manufacturer to come under fire for these deceptive food-labeling tactics. Heinz, Tropicana, Ben and Jerry’s, Naked Juice, and Campbell Soup have also been accused of deceptive food labeling in recent years.

Consumers trust that the labels on their food and beverages are correct and display accurate and up-to-date information. When those labels are used to manipulate the public into falsely buying a product, consumers are the ones who suffer. You have a right to know what you are eating-and what you are consuming. Food manufacturers must respect your right to choose and not resort to deceptive food labeling tactics to gain your loyalty.

Philadelphia Consumer Lawyers

The consumer lawyers at Golomb Legal have successfully represented numerous individuals in deceptive food labeling lawsuits against large manufacturers and agricultural companies. Our experienced Philadelphia consumer lawyers work tirelessly to protect consumer rights and hold product manufacturers responsible for these deceptive advertising tactics. To learn more about your legal options or to schedule a free consultation call the Philadelphia consumer lawyers at Golomb Legal today at 1-800-355-3300 or 1-215-985-9177 or fill out our confidential Contact Form.

The national class action lawyers at Golomb Legal have successfully represented individuals throughout the United States.