The debate over genetically modified organisms in food and false advertising in the form of “all natural” claims was heated up recently by the Denver-based Mexican fast food company, Chipotle. Chipotle became the first national company to post labels on its websites of all of the ingredients it uses that contain GMOs. GMOs are organisms that are genetically manipulated in a lab. And last month, the restaurant released a YouTube video that struck out at the false advertising of foods as all natural which contain GMOs. Other retail companies, including Whole Foods, Ben & Jerry’s and Target have vowed to follow suit in the stand against GMOs and the mislabeling of products as “all natural.”
Up to 70 percent of processed foods contain GMOs. Additionally, there are nine genetically modified crops on the market, including: corn, canola, cotton, soybeans, Hawaiian papaya, sugar beets, alfalfa, zucchini and yellow crookneck squash. A 2012 study on rats indicated that corn modified to be resistant to Roundup weedkiller causes tumors, organ damage and premature death.
A petition requesting that the Food and Drug Administration mandate labeling of GMOs was signed by more than 1.2 million people recently. The FDA has had a draft guidance document for 12 years regarding the labeling of genetically modified food but has failed to implement it.
In the meantime, lawsuits regarding the false labeling of GMO-containing food as “all natural” are piling up. Among those companies who have found themselves being sued because they labeled food “all natural” even if it wasn’t are Frito-Lay, General Mills, Pepperidge Farms, PepsiCo, ConAgra, Cargill, Naked Juice and others. We believe the Class Action Lawsuit may be the only way for concerned consumers to stand up against powerful corporations to ensure truth and transparency in food labelling.