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Gruma Corp to FDA: Yes, It IS Your Job to Determine if GMOs Belong in All-Natural Products

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Genetic Engineering page, Millions Against Monsanto page and our Myth of Natural Campaign page.

Civil litigation over whether GMOs belong in 'all-natural' products will continue to clog up US courts owing to the FDA's refusal to weigh in on this issue, says Mission tortilla chips maker Gruma Corp. 

In a January 24 court filing in a deceptive marketing lawsuit (Cox vs Gruma Corp 4:12-cv-6502) over 'all-natural' claims on its tortilla chips, Gruma said it was not impressed by a letter the FDA recently sent to the judge handling the case.

In a January 6 letter (click here) sent to US district judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers and two other judges handling similar cases, the FDA said that if it were to change its policy on natural, it "would likely embark on a public process such as issuing a regulation or formal guidance" and "would not do so in the context of litigation between private parties."

The agency also noted: "Any definition of natural on food labeling has implications well beyond the narrow scope of genetically engineered food ingredients" and pointed out that "in a world with limited resources", it has bigger fish to fry.

Gruma Corp: We're going to refile our motion to dismiss this case

But Gruma's attorney David Ongaro, a partner at the San Francisco office of law firm Thomson & Knight, insisted that the letter, "if anything, reinforces why the FDA should be the one to resolve this issue".

He added: "This is particularly true because the same issue whether products which include food derived from bioengineered seeds may be labeled 'natural' has been raised in more than 50 other cases and resolution of the issue by the courts will be subject to inconsistent determinations and disruptions of interstate commerce."