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Organic Consumers Association

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Nonprofits Sue Pret A Manger for Deceptive Marketing of Foods as 'Natural'

For Immediate Release: September 25, 2018

Contacts:
Beyond Pesticides, Jay Feldman, 202.543.5450
GMO Free USA, Diana Reeves, 347.921.1466
Organic Consumers Association, Katherine Paul, 207.653.3090

Nonprofits Sue Pret A Manger for Deceptive Marketing of Foods as ‘Natural’

Washington D.C.,– Beyond Pesticides, GMO Free USA and Organic Consumers Association filed a lawsuit against Pret A Manger restaurant chain for the deceptive marketing and sale of certain bread and other baked goods as “natural food,” after the products tested positive for glyphosate, a component of Roundup weedkiller. The lawsuit charges that Pret exploits consumers’ preferences and willingness to pay more for products marketed as ‘natural.’

“Consumers expect Pret’s food to be free of synthetic pesticides, including glyphosate. Glyphosate, patented as a chelator and an antibiotic, is linked to adverse health effects including cancer, infertility and non-alcoholic fatty liver and kidney diseases. Glyphosate shouldn’t be present in the food system at all, but a company that willfully misrepresents its products needs to be held accountable,” said Diana Reeves, executive director of GMO Free USA.
 
Jay Feldman, executive director of Beyond Pesticides said: “Consumers want truthful information on product ingredients, with labeling and advertising that is transparent about production practices and residues of toxic materials. Given the widespread use of pesticide-intensive practices, this lawsuit establishes the responsibility of purveyors of food products to know the origins of their product ingredients before making a ‘natural’ claim.”

Ronnie Cummins, OCA international director said: " Pret knows consumer perception is that food described as 'natural' is quantitatively better, because consumers believe 'natural' implies the absence of synthetic chemicals. We believe companies should not be allowed to mislead consumers in this way." 

The suit, filed under the District of Columbia’s Consumer Protection Procedures Act by Richman Law Group, seeks to end Pret’s deceptive business practices by requiring full disclosure of glyphosate in their products and/or a reformulation of their products to be glyphosate-free.

Read the complaint HERE.

GMO Free USA is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit advocating for a clean and healthy food system and educating consumers about the hazards of genetically engineered organisms and synthetic pesticides.

Beyond Pesticides is a D.C-based national grassroots nonprofit that works with allies in protecting public health and the environment to lead the transition to a world free of toxic pesticides.

The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit consumer advocacy organization focused on food, agriculture and environmental issues.

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