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Organic Consumers Association

Heinz Hit with False Advertising Lawsuit over Natural Claims, GMOs

For Related Articles and More Information, Please Visit OCA's Genetic Engineering Page, Millions Against Monsanto Page and our Myth of Natural Page.

In a complaint filed in California on March 17, plaintiff Debbie Banafsheha alleges that Heinz Distilled White Vinegar - which is marketed and labeled as 'all natural' - is not in fact natural because it is made from genetically modified corn.

She adds: "Defendant's 'all natural' representations are false, deceptive, misleading, and unfair to consumers, who are injured in fact by purchasing products that Defendant claims are 'all natural' when in fact they are not."

Defendant's 'all natural' representations are false, deceptive, misleading, and unfair to consumers

While Heinz does not explicitly state that the corn used to make the vinegar is from genetically engineered crops, it is very likely that it is, alleges the complaint, given that more than 70% of corn grown in the US is GM.  

"Defendant sources its ingredients from US commodity suppliers who supply GM crops. Large volume food manufacturers who wish to use non-GM ingredients must specifically source their crops, typically from Europe, or undertake the additional step and expense of purchasing and verifying the supply from non-GM growers through identity preservation programs.

"In most instances, manufacturers who purchase only non-GM crops for their products specifically label the products non-GMO."


Banafsheha, who is represented by law firm Ahdoot & Wolfson, seeks to represent all consumers who purchased the product in California from March 17, 2010  


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