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Chipotle slapped with class-action lawsuit over GMO-free campaign

Chipotle bowl

A federal class-action lawsuit has been filed against Chipotle Mexican Grill, alleging that the concept’s claims of a GMO-free menu are misleading to consumers.

The complaint takes specific issue with Chipotle’s widely publicized “Food With Integrity” campaign that began in April, which declared that the chain was “G-M-Over It” and that it used GMO-free ingredients exclusively, according to Kaplan Fox & Kilsheimer LLP, the law firm that filed the suit.

The legal action asserts that many of the chain’s menu items do, in fact, contain GMOs, including soft drinks and meat and dairy products from animals fed with GMO soy and corn.

"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," said Laurence 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 case, titled Gallagher v. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., is now pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. 

As a rule, Chipotle does not discuss details of pending legal actions, according to spokesperson Chris Arnold; however, he said it plans to contest the lawsuit. 

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